The Case Western Reserve University baseball team will begin conference play on the road this weekend, when the team travels south to Atlanta, Georgia for a four-game series with the third-ranked Emory University Eagles.
A change to the schedule was made, with a doubleheader now scheduled starting at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, March 24th. The rest of the weekend's schedule will be determined based on weather. Check back at athletics.case.edu for updates as they are available throughout the weekend.
There will be live stats and live video coverage of each game. The video is free to watch in standard definition, with high definition upgrades available for $7 each game. To watch the video of each game, go to https://emory.prestosports.com/sports/bsb/live.
Live stats links will be available on the CWRU baseball schedule page at http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2016-17/schedule.
Case Western Reserve will enter the weekend as winners of four-straight games and five of their last six, improving to 6-9 overall for the campaign. The Spartans, who are yet to play a game at home this season, have gone 3-7 in true road games during the campaign. The team is batting .258 this season and scoring 6.5 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a 5.41 earned run average with a .277 opponents' batting average.
Junior Dan Watson has led the team at the plate with a .347 batting average, with senior Tony Damiano hitting at a .345 clip, while pacing the squad with five doubles, 16 runs scored and seven stolen bases. Sophomore Tyler Wypiszenski has driven in a team-leading 13 runs during the year. On the mound, sophomore Mark Gross is 2-2 with a 3.34 ERA through five starts, while junior Ben Murphy has gone 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA through four appearances, including a pair of starts. Junior Nate Glasser has made six appearances out of the bullpen, notching a pair of saves and a 2.25 ERA, while junior southpaw Liam Killingstad has one save and a 2.70 ERA through six relief appearances.
The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Matt Englander, who is in his 11th season with the squad. His career record of 240-196-2 is good for a winning percentage of .550, and is now just five wins shy of the program record by a head coach. Englander is assisted by Nick Callahan and Branden Stucky.
Emory will enter the weekend ranked third in the latest D3baseball.com poll and fifth in the ABCA Poll, after spending a number of weeks in the top-spot in the rankings. However, Emory has dropped three-straight games to fall to 17-5 on the season (with a 12-1 mark in home games), including a 9-4 loss at home against #5/4 LaGrange College on Tuesday. The Eagles are batting .313 as a team and scoring 6.8 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a 3.56 ERA with a .259 opponents' batting average.
Brian Hernandez, Chris Young, and Bubby Terp are each tied for the team lead with a .367 batting average, while Jeff Ronpirin is batting .342 with a team-high 22 runs batted in. On the mound, the Eagles feature preseason All-Americans Jackson Weeg (3-3, 4.12 ERA) and Kyle Monk (5-0, 3.00 ERA, five saves), along with Billy Dimlow (4-0, 0.89 ERA).
Emory is coached by Mike Twardoski, who holds a 531-240-1 record during his 18-year career, all spent with Emory. He is assisted by Bobby Perez, Mathew Troupe and Millard Dawson.
While the teams have previously met annually at the UAA Tournament in Sanford, Florida, this will be the first year that that CWRU and Emory will play on a campus site since 2011. The Spartans and the Eagles have previously played four games in Atlanta, Georgia, splitting the contests. The last meeting in Atlanta occurred on March 6, 2011, with the Spartans topping Emory 22-9 behind a seven RBI day from Chad Mullins, who would go on to be named the Division III Player of the Year that season.
The Spartans have won nine of their last 16 meetings with Emory, dating back to the 2009 season, and are 11-28 all-time against the Eagles. Last year, the Spartans split their two games against Emory during the UAA Championships, winning 4-3 on a run in the bottom of the eighth, and then losing 3-2 in the second game.
Friday's game will be the first contest of the new UAA baseball schedule format, with teams playing four-game series each weekend on campus sites… Previously, the only conference games had been played during the annual UAA Tournament in Sanford, Florida… After this weekend, the Spartans will have played nine of their 19 games against teams currently ranked in the top-three in the D3baseball.com poll… CWRU previous played a three-game series against top-ranked Shenandoah University and a doubleheader against #2 SUNY Cortland… Spartan pinch hitters are batting .412 this year (seven-for-17), led by a four-for-seven pinch hit performance by freshman Chris Shorter… CWRU is batting .381 as a team with the bases loaded this year (eight-for-21), including a three-for-three performance from Tyler Wypiszenski… Tony Damiano recorded a 10-game hitting streak earlier this season, the longest by a Spartan player during the campaign so far… Seniors Eric Eldred and Aaron Cain each have active four-game hitting streaks, the longest current streaks among the squad… Cain also leads the team with seven multiple-hit games… The Spartans are 6-2 when allowing five or fewer runs in a game this year, and 5-2 when they outhit their opponent… CWRU is 6-1 when leading after eight innings… Senior Jake Shields picked up the win during the Spartans' 6-4 victory over N.C. Wesleyan last Thursday, the 19th of his career, to move within five of the program record, currently held by Jamie Hora (2010-13).