Case Western Reserve University won a pair of games on Saturday afternoon in Chestertown, Maryland, defeating the University of Rochester 8-4 in the early contest, and topping Washington College 8-5 in the late game.
The Spartans have now won three-straight games and four of their last five to improve to 5-9 overall on the season.
Game 1: CWRU 8, Rochester 4
The Spartans led from the first inning on during the early game against Rochester, en route to an 8-4 win over the Yellowjackets.
Making his second start of the Spartans' Spring Break trip, junior Ben Murphy pitched six innings without allowing an earned run, claiming the win in the game to improve to 2-0 on the season. Murphy allowed just one unearned run on a hit and two walks, and stuck out seven batters in the game.
Sophomore Jacob Kucia went three-for-three at the plate with a double and his team-leading second home run of the season, driving in four runs during the game. Junior Dan Watson went two-for-five in the game, while senior Tony Damiano and sophomore Tyler Wypiszenski each scored a pair of runs.
Murphy retired the side in order in the top of the first, the first five batters of the game reached for the Spartans against Rochester, including freshman Noah Mehrle, who drove in a pair with a bases-loaded single. With two outs and the bases loaded again, Kucia was hit by a pitch to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead by the end of the first inning.
Murphy set the first seven Yellowjacket batters down in order in the game, before allowing a walk and a hit and committing an error to allow the first Rochester run to cross the plate.
The score remained 3-1 until Kucia led off the bottom of the fourth with his team-leading second home run of the season, extending the lead to 4-1. Kucia added another run in the bottom of the fifth, driving in Wypiszenski from second base with a two-out single.
The Yellowjackets loaded the bases to bring the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh with nobody out, but junior Liam Killingstad entered the game to limit the damage to just a run. Kucia drove in his fourth run of the game with a base hit in the bottom of the inning, and junior Danny Souza followed with a squeeze bunt to score senior Josh Neal and make it a 7-2 CWRU advantage. Watson added an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, and despite a pair of two out runs in the ninth for Rochester, Killingstad was able to close out the win for his first save of the season.
The Spartans scored four of their runs off Rochester starter John Ghyzel, and All-UAA Second Team selection last season, to drop both him and the Yellowjackets to 0-1 on the year.
In his two starts this season, both made during the Spring Break trip, Murphy allowed just one earned run over 12.0 innings of work, striking out 12 batters, and surrendering just four walks and five hits, lowering his ERA to 1.93 this year.
Game 2: CWRU 8, Washington College 5
After trailing early, the Spartans scored seven unanswered runs to turn a 5-1 deficit into an 8-5 win over host Washington College in the second game on Saturday.
Freshman Paul Slota and junior Nate Glasser combined to allow just one hit over four scoreless innings out of the bullpen for Case Western Reserve. Slota earned the first win of his collegiate career in the game, improving to 1-0 on the season.
The Spartans outhit Washington 9-7 in the game, including a two-for-three performance at the plate from sophomore Rocco Maue, who drove in three runs. Kucia added a two-for-five game with a double and an RBI, and senior Aaron Cain went two-for-four with a walk and an RBI.
Freshman Casey McConihe made his first career start against Washington, retiring the first four batters he faced, before allowing a pair of infield hits. After getting a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Joe Otto launched a ball over the wall in leftfield to give the Shoremen a 3-0 advantage.
The Spartans got on the board in the top of the third on an RBI single from Maue, but the Shoremen responded with two more in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-1 lead. In the top of the fifth, Case Western Reserve took advantage of a throwing error to score a run and cut the lead back to 5-2. The Spartans pulled closer in the sixth, when a two-out double by Kucia scored Watson from first base.
Junior Alex Capetillo lead the seventh off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, and to third on a balk with one out. Maue was able to drive him in with an infield hit, cutting the Washington lead to a run, 5-4. Meanwhile, Slota delivered a pair of scoreless innings in relief to keep the Spartans within a run of the Shoremen.
The Spartans took their first lead of the game in the top of the eighth with a four run inning. Case Western Reserve loaded the bases with one out on two walks and an error, before a pinch hit single from freshman Chris Shorter plated the game-tying run and kept the bases loaded. A batter later, senior Aaron Cain drew a walk to score the go-ahead run, while an RBI groundout from Maue and an RBI single from Damiano added two insurance runs to the Spartans' total.
Glasser entered the game in the eighth and pitched two scoreless inning to pick up his second save of the season.
Matt Furlong took the loss in relief for Washington to fall to 0-1 on the year, while the Shoremen dropped to 7-8 overall.
The Spartans will wrap-up their Spring Break trip tomorrow, facing Rochester for a second time in Chestertown. First pitch of Sunday's game is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.