Baseball Heads South for Spring Break Trip

Baseball Heads South for Spring Break Trip

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team will hit the road for a stretch of nine games in as many days over Spring Break next week.

Schedule/ Live Coverage

Saturday, March 11th
12:00 PM: at #19 Johns Hopkins (Doubleheader) – Live Stats | Video

Sunday, March 12th
2:00 PM: at Mary Washington – Live Stats

Monday, March 13th
3:00 PM: at N.C. Wesleyan – Live Stats

Tuesday, March 14th
3:00 PM: at N.C. Wesleyan – Live Stats

Thursday, March 16th
3:00 PM: at N.C. Wesleyan – Live Stats

Saturday, March 18th
11:00 AM: vs. Rochester (@Washington College) – Live Stats
3:00 PM: at Washington College – Live Stats | Video

Sunday, March 19th
11:00 AM: vs. Rochester (@Washington College) – Live Stats

CWRU Spartans

Case Western Reserve will enter the trip looking to improve on a 1-5 record, including marks of 1-0 in neutral site games and 0-5 in true road contests.  Through their first six games of the season, the Spartans are batting .239 and averaging 5.5 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a 6.20 team ERA and has allowed opposing hitters to bat .313.

Freshman outfielder/ designated hitter Noah Mehrle is leading the team with a .444 batting average, four doubles, five RBIs and a pair of stolen bases this season.  Senior outfielders Josh Neal and Tony Damiano are batting .320 and .313, respectively, and junior first baseman Dan Watson has added three doubles and four RBIs.  On the mound, sophomore right-handed pitcher Mark Gross is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA, and senior pitcher Preston Williams is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA.

The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Matt Englander, who is in his 11th season with the squad.  His career record of 235-192-2 is good for a winning percentage of .550, and he will begin the season just 10 wins shy of the program record by a head coach.  Englander is assisted by Nick Callahan and Branden Stucky.

#19 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays

After receiving votes in the first two polls of the season, the Spartans climbed into the top-25 this week after wins over preseason no. 1 Cortland State and no. 2 Keystone last weekend.  The Blue Jays are 4-1 overall, and are scheduled to face York College (Pa.) on the road on Thursday before hosting CWRU on Saturday.  The team is batting .248 with 4.8 runs per game and has a team 3.15 ERA with a .224 opponents' batting average.

Senior outfielder Brian Lin leads the team with a .400 batting average this year, while junior third baseman Mike Smith has a home run and six RBIs.  On the mound, junior Nick Bodner is 1-0 and has not allowed an earned run in five innings of work, while sophomore Harrison Folk has come out of the bullpen in a pair of games, recorded a 1.50 ERA.

Johns Hopkins is led by 38th-year Head Coach Bob Babb, who has gone 1,074-398-1 during his time with the team, good for a .727 winning percentage.  He entered the season ranked fifth among NCAA DIII active coaches in winning percentage, and fourth in career wins.  Babb is assisted by Gabby Castellano, Denny Cox, Jonas Fester, Andrew Furman, Ryan Graves, Mike Parco, Adam Schlenoff, and Pete Smith.

The Spartans and the Blue Jays will be facing each other for the first time since the 2001 season at the UAA Tournament, when Johns Hopkins was still a member of the conference.  Playing in Coco Beach, Florida, the two teams split a doubleheader, with the Spartans picking up a 2-1 win, and the Blue Jays claiming a 13-3 victory.

Mary Washington Eagles

The Eagles are 7-3 during the 2017 season, including a 6-1 home record, and will have three games before facing the Spartans on Sunday afternoon, including a Thursday matchup against second-ranked Shenandoah.  Mary Washington is batting .310 as a team this year and has scored 6.8 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.87 with an opponents' batting average of .233.

Sophomore first baseman Stephen Johnson has led the team this year at the plate, batting .389 with a home run and 11 RBIs, while freshman outfielder Christian Hague has added a .429 batting average with five doubles, a home run and nine RBIs.  Senior pitcher Nick McIntyre has a 2-1 record with a 3.18 ERA through three starts.

Mary Washington is coached by Wayne Riser, who has a 95-62 record during his five seasons with the Eagles, after spending the first 22 years of his career at Division II Shepherd University and going 510-394-2.  He is assisted by James Keller and Rick Minter.

Sunday's game will be the first-ever meeting between Case Western Reserve and Mary Washington.

North Carolina Wesleyan Battling Bishops

North Carolina Wesleyan has begun its 2017 season with a 12-5 overall record, including an 8-1 home mark this year.  The Battling Bishops will have a three-game series against Covenant College and a single game against Stevenson, all at home, before hosting the Spartans next week.  The team has hit .327 this season with 8.7 runs scored per game, while pitching to a 3.80 ERA with a .279 opponents' average.

Senior first baseman Tony Sanchez is hitting .339 this season with three home runs and 20 RBIs, with sophomore left fielder Nate Gardner adding a .382 average with 16 RBIs and freshman second baseman Brad Pennington hitting .385 with three triples and a home run.  Senior pitcher Ryan Grant has led the team on the mound with a 3-0 record and a 0.84 ERA, while Gardner has made four starts, going 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA.

N.C. Wesleyan is under the leadership of Head Coach Charlie Long, who has gone 440-381-5 during his 20 years with the program, including a National Championship campaign in 1999.  He is assisted by Greg Clark, Zach Alexander and Chris Stout.

Next week's games will be the first ever between N.C. Wesleyan and Case Western Reserve.

Rochester Yellowjackets

Rochester will not open its season until March 16th, and will have a doubleheader against St. Mary's College of Maryland and a single game against Washington College before facing the Spartans on March 18th.  The Yellowjackets went 22-19 last year, batting .303 and averaging 5.9 runs per game, while pitching to a 4.48 ERA with a .296 opponents' batting average.

Rochester is slated to return its top pitcher from last season, John Ghyzel, who went 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA and earned All-UAA Second Team honors.  Its top returning position player is sophomore catcher/ first baseman Aiden Finch, who hit .326 with four home runs and 31 RBIs last year.

Head Coach Joe Reina will be starting his 16th season with Rochester, and has a career record of 324-260-2.  He is assisted by Jake Shattuck.

The Spartans and the Yellowjackets have faced each other annually, although this will be the first year that the teams will not be meeting as a part of the UAA Tournament.  The Spartans have won four-straight and eight of the last 10 meetings with Rochester, while going 13-15 overall against Rochester since the start of the 2001 campaign.  Last season, the Spartans topped the Yellowjackets twice at the UAA Championships, with Preston Williams starting both games and allowing just one run over 12 innings of work, collecting the win in each contest.

Washington College Shoremen

Washington stands at 3-4 on the season, but has eight games remaining on its schedule before its meeting with CWRU next weekend.  After losing the first three games of the season, the Shoreman have won four in a row, and are now 1-3 at home this season.  Washington has a team .288 batting average and has scored 5.1 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a 4.33 ERA and has allowed the opposition to bat .274 during the 2017 campaign.

Junior catcher Wes Roberston has hit .304 with a team-leading six RBIs, while senior first baseman Evan Hirschbaum has added a .230 average with two home runs and five RBIs, and sophomore second baseman Luke D'Ostilio has hit at a .385 clip during the campaign.  Top pitchers for the Shoremen this year include senior Billy Griffen (1-1 with a 2.31 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 11.2 innings) and sophomore Billy Benson (1-0 with a 1.04 ERA).

Washington is coached by Matt Reynolds, who is now in his third season with the program and has a career record of 47-31-1.  He is assisted by Cooper Belyea, Pat Lemmo and Scott Renauro.

CWRU and Washington College have played each other just twice since the start of the 2001 season, with the Shoremen winning both contests.  The teams last played during the 2005 campaign, an 11-5 Washington win.

Spartan Notes

Case Western Reserve sophomore pitcher Mark Gross was named the UAA Pitcher of the Week, after allowing just one unearned run in a complete-game win over Allegheny last Saturday… It was his first conference Athlete of the Week Award of the season… The complete game was the first of Gross' career… CWRU freshman Noah Mehrle and senior Tony Damiano will each enter the week with a five-game hitting streak, tied for the longest this season by a Spartan… Seniors Aaron Cain and Josh Neal each have three multiple-hit games this year to lead all CWRU players… Neal and Cain are also the only two CWRU players to start each of the team's six games this season… Cain is one run away from 100 for his career and three hits away from 150… Each of the Spartans' five losses have come to teams either nationally-ranked or receiving votes in the latest D3baseball.com Poll… CWRU pinch hitters are batting .500 this season.