Spartans Fall to Presidents 9-8 on Ninth-Inning Walk-Off Hit

Spartans Fall to Presidents 9-8 on Ninth-Inning Walk-Off Hit

Case Western Reserve University carried a four run lead into the bottom of the seventh inning on Sunday afternoon, but Washington and Jefferson College rallied to score the final five runs of the game unanswered, including one in the ninth to break a tie and claim a 9-8 win over the Spartans in Washington, Pennsylvania.

The Spartans fell to 1-5 on the season with the loss, while the Presidents, who took both games against CWRU this weekend, improved to 2-0.

CWRU junior first baseman Dan Watson went two-for-four in the game with two doubles and three RBIs to lead the Spartans, while sophomore catcher Tyler Wypiszenski and sophomore shortstop Rocco Maue each added two RBIs in the game.  Freshman designed hitter Noah Mehrle went two-for-four with two runs scored and a double, finishing the Spartans three games this weekend with a .500 batting average (six-for-12), three doubles, and five RBIs.

After both teams went scoreless through the first three innings, the Spartans broke through first in the top of the fourth, as Mehrle led the inning off with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a one-out sacrifice fly off the bat of Watson.  Washington and Jefferson tied the game in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double off CWRU senior starter Preston Williams, the only run he allowed in the start, but the Spartans regained the lead in the top of the fifth on a two-out RBI double from senior right fielder Tony Damiano that scored senior left fielder Josh Neal.

Williams finished the game with one run allowed on five hits and a walk with one strikeout, en route to a no-decision in the contest.

The Presidents tied the game again with a run in the bottom of the fifth, and then took their first lead of the game with a pair of runs in the sixth.

The Spartans responded with a threat of their own in the top of the seventh, sending 10 batters to the plate in the inning.  CWRU loaded the bases with one out after Neal and Damiano each drew walks and Mehrle singled.  Wypiszenski followed with a double that scored both Neal and Damiano to tie the game.  Sophomore second baseman Jacob Kucia walked in the next at bat, and then Watson followed with another two-run double, putting the Spartans out in front 6-4.  With two outs in the inning, Maue capped off the scoring with a base hit that plated both Kucia and Watson, extending the Spartans' lead to 8-4.

Washington and Jefferson closed the gap with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but junior right-handed pitcher Nate Glasser was able to end the Presidents' rally with an inning-ending double play, keeping the Spartans in front 8-7 heading into the eighth.  However, an error in the bottom of the eight allowed the game-tying run to score for Washington and Jefferson, and a double with one out and two on in the ninth by the Presidents' Derek Helbing brought across the game winning run.

Junior lefty Liam Killingstad took the loss for CWRU in relief, falling to 0-1 on the year, while Washington & Jefferson's Tim Mulvey picked up the win to improve to 1-0.

The Spartans will be back in action next Saturday, March 11th, when the team travels to Baltimore, Maryland for a doubleheader against Johns Hopkins University, starting at noon.  Next Saturday's games will kick off a stretch of nine games over a nine-day period for CWRU.