The Case Western Reserve University baseball team fell victim to a late rally by the University of Mary Washington, losing 9-8 to the Eagles on a two-out bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday afternoon.
Seniors Josh Neal and Tony Damiano and sophomore Rocco Maue each drove in a pair of runs in Sunday's game for Case Western Reserve, while four different Spartan players – Neal, senior Aaron Cain, Damiano and junior Dan Watson – each had a pair of hits in the loss.
Case Western Reserve went to work at the plate early in the game on Sunday, scoring a pair in the top of the first inning. The first two batters of the game reached for the Spartans, after Neal drew a leadoff walk and Cain singled. Damiano followed with a double that scored both Neal and Cain, giving CWRU an early 2-0 advantage over the Eagles. However, Mary Washington's Stephen Johnston responded with a one-out two-run home run in the bottom of the inning to even the score at 2-2.
Mary Washington went on to score three more in the bottom of the second to take the lead in the game, 5-2. The Spartans got a run back in the top of the third, cutting the Eagles' lead to 5-3 after a two-out bases loaded walk to Maue scored Neal.
Meanwhile, on the mound, junior southpaw Liam Killingstad entered the game in the bottom of the second, and proceeded to steady the ship for the Spartans. He allowed just one run on three hits and a pair of walks, while striking out five over his four innings of work in relief, leaving the game after the fifth inning with the Spartans down by just a run.
Watson led off the top of the sixth with a triple, and scored a batter later on a sacrifice fly by Maue, trimming the Mary Washington advantage to 5-4. The Eagles scored a run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning to go back up by two, 6-4, but sophomore reliever Corey Brown entered the game for CWRU to limit the damage to just the one run. Mary Washington added another run on an RBI single in the seventh, extending its lead to 7-4 over CWRU.
In the top of the eighth, Watson singled with one out and Maue walked, bringing the tying run to the plate in freshman pinch hitter Chris Shorter. Shorter delivered with a run-scoring double, putting the potential game tying runs in scoring position, still with just one out in the inning. A walk to senior Eric Eldred loaded the bases, and junior Danny Souza followed with a sacrifice fly, cutting the lead back to a run again, 7-6, with the tying and go ahead runners both in scoring position and two away. The next batter, Neal, delivered a key two-out singles, scoring two runs and giving CWRU its first lead since the first inning, 8-7.
Junior Nate Glasser entered in relief in the bottom of the eighth, and pitched a scoreless frame, but ran into trouble in the ninth, issuing a walk and allowing three-straight hits to the Eagles, including a run-scoring single to knot the game at 8-8. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Glasser retired the next two batters on a fly out and a strike out, but a two-out walk forced the winning run across the plate for Mary Washington.
The loss dropped the Spartans to 1-8 on the year, while Mary Washington improved to 8-4 with the win. Glasser took the loss for CWRU to fall to 0-2 on the year, while Bryant White improved to 2-1 for Mary Washington with the victory in relief.
The Spartans will begin a three-game series against North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, North Carolina tomorrow. First pitch of Monday's game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.