Case Western Reserve University broke out for season highs in hits and runs on Monday afternoon, and junior Ben Murphy gave the Spartans a strong six innings on the mound, as CWRU opened a three-game series against North Carolina Wesleyan College with a 15-5 win over the Battling Bishops in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
The win was the second of the season for the Spartans, who improved to 2-8 overall, while North Carolina Wesleyan dropped to 15-7 with the loss.
Making his first start of the year, Murphy allowed just one run on four hits and two walks through his six innings of work, while striking out five batters in the game. He picked up the win in the contest, improving to 1-0 on the year with the effort.
At the plate, sophomore Tyler Wypiszenski drove in five runs, going two-for-six at the plate with a double, while junior Dan Watson added a three-for-four performance with three runs batted in and a stolen base. Senior Tony Damiano went two-for-five with a double, four runs scored and three stolen bases. Nine different CWRU players picked up a hit in the game, including eight of the team's nine starters, as the squad amassed a season-high 16 hits.
For the second-straight day, the Spartans got off to a quick start, sending 10 batters to the plate in the first inning and scoring six runs to match their highest scoring frame of the year. Senior Josh Neal singled to lead off the game, and senior Aaron Cain followed with a walk. After a double steal, Neal scored from third on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Damiano. Damiano later scored on a base hit by freshman Noah Mehrle to extend the lead to 2-0, and after Watson singled and sophomore Rocco Maue was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Wypiszenski promptly cleared them with a double, pushing the CWRU advantage to 5-0. Junior Danny Souza capped off the scoring in the inning with a two-out RBI double to score Wypiszenski.
The score remained 6-0 until the top of the fourth, when the Spartans added on two more runs on a sacrifice fly from Mehrle that scored Cain, and a single from Watson that plated Damiano.
On the mound, Murphy held the Bishops scoreless through the first three innings, at one point retiring eight batters in a row. North Carolina Wesleyan broke through for a run in the bottom of the fourth on a groundout, trimming the Spartans' lead to 8-1.
Case Western Reserve increased its lead with a two-run single by Watson in the top of the sixth, who later scored on an RBI groundout by Wypiszenski, putting the Spartans in front by 10 runs. The Spartans scored three more in the seventh, including RBIs from freshman Chris Shorter and Maue during the inning, extending their lead to 14-1.
North Carolina Wesleyan scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh and one in the eighth off the CWRU bullpen, before the Spartans got a run back in the ninth on a base hit by Wypiszenski. The Bishops scored another run in the ninth, pulling within 10 runs again by the end of the game.
The 15 runs scored by the Spartans on Monday were the most by the team in a game since a 17-0 win over Oberlin College on April 20, 2016, and the most in a road game since April 5, 2016, a 15-3 win over John Carroll.
N.C. Wesleyan starting pitcher Brynner Porter took the loss, falling to 2-1 on the year.
The Spartans and the Battling Bishops are scheduled to play the middle game of their three-game series on Tuesday, March 14th. First pitch of the game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. in Rocky Mount.