The Case Western Reserve University baseball team swept a doubleheader at third-ranked Emory University on Saturday afternoon, defeating the Eagles 11-2 in the first game and 20-15 in a wild second game of the day in Atlanta, Georgia.
En route to the victories, the Spartans dealt a loss to a pair of preseason All-American pitchers, improving to 8-11 overall for the season, while Emory dropped to 19-7 with the pair of setbacks.
Sophomore Tyler Wypiszenski went five-for-eight with seven RBIs during the two games, while senior Tony Damiano drove in six runs and scored four, going five-for-10. Senior Aaron Cain added six hits and scored five runs over the course of the day.
Game 1: CWRU 11, Emory 2
CWRU junior Ben Murphy delivered his third-straight strong start on Saturday, and Damiano drove in three runs, to lead the Spartans to a 11-2 win over the Eagles in the opening game of the day.
Murphy improved to 3-0 on the season and lowered his season ERA to 1.89 for the season, including a 1.06 ERA in his three starts this year. He allowed just one run on three hits in the game, striking out three and walking one.
Emory struck first in the game, scoring a run on a sacrifice fly in the first inning, but Murphy locked down the Eagles from that point forward, allowing just two more hits for the remainder of his outing. The score remained 1-0 until the top of the fourth, when the Spartans' offense broke through against Preseason All-American southpaw Jackson Weeg. Junior Dan Watson started a two-out rally in the inning with a base hit, and moved to second on a single by Wypiszenski. Sophomore Jacob Kucia put the Spartans on the board a batter later with an RBI single into left centerfield to plate Watson, and a wild pitch allowed Wypiszenski to cross the plate, putting CWRU out front 2-1.
The Spartans added on two more in the top of the fifth, on a one-out double by Damiano that scored both Cain and freshman Noah Mehrle, extending the lead to 4-1. CWRU added another run in the seventh inning, when Mehrle scored on a throwing error, and another in the eighth on an RBI groundout by Mehrle, putting CWRU ahead 6-1 after seven and a half innings.
After Emory scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to pull back within four runs, a five run ninth inning that included RBI doubles for Wypiszenski and sophomore shortstop Rocco Maue, and run-scoring singles for freshman Casey McConihe, Cain and Damiano, gave the Spartans a nine-run lead and cemented the victory.
Sophomore lefty Corey Brown added a pair of scoreless innings of relief, and junior southpaw Liam Killingstad allowed just one run on two hits over the final two innings to complete the victory.
Weeg took the loss for Emory, falling to 3-4 on the season.
During the game, the Spartans hit .478 (11-for-23) with runners on base, including a .429 mark (six-for-14) with men in scoring position. CWRU matched its season-high with 16 hits in the game, including a three-for-four contribution from Kucia and two-hit games from Cain, Damiano, Watson, Wypiszenski, and Maue. Defensively, the Spartans also turned three double plays during the game.
Game 2: CWRU 20, Emory 15
In a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair in the second game of the day, the Spartans put an exclamation point on the day with an eight-run ninth inning, capping off a thrilling 20-15 come-from-behind win.
The 20 runs were the most scored in a game by CWRU since putting 21 on the board in a game against Westminster on April 5, 2014. The Spartans collected a season-high 20 hits in the game, adding seven walks in the contest.
Wypiszenski went three-for-four with a walk and two doubles, and matched his career-high with six RBIs in the game. Cain went four-for-six with four runs, two RBIs, and a stolen base, while Watson added a three-for-four game with two RBIs and two doubles, and Damiano went three-for-four with four runs scored and three RBIs.
The Spartans struck first in the second game, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly by Wypiszenski. However, Emory scored single runs in both the second and third to gain the lead, before another sacrifice fly, this time off the bat of Maue, evened the score at 2-2 heading into the fifth.
The fifth inning proved to be a wild one, with the two teams combined for 14 runs during the frame. The Spartans scored six in the top of the inning, including three on a bases-clearing double by Wypiszenski and two more on a single by Maue, taking an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the frame. Emory responded with eight runs in the bottom of the fifth, including seven with two outs, to regain a lead, 10-8.
An RBI single by Watson and a wild pitch that scored Damiano evened the score again, 10-10 in the sixth, but Emory struck for another run in the bottom of the inning to take the lead back.
The back-and-forth play continued into the seventh, with the Spartans scoring two runs with two outs on RBI hits by Damiano and Watson, getting back ahead in the game 12-11. The score remained the same until the bottom of the eighth, when a sacrifice fly from Emory's Eric Terry knotted the game again, and an error with two outs allowed the go-ahead run to score. The Eagles added on two more runs in the inning, taking a 15-12 lead into the top of the ninth.
Back-to-back singles by junior Alex Capetillo and Cain, followed by hit-by-pitch, loaded the bases for the Spartans with nobody out in the ninth. Damiano followed with a base hit, driving in two runs, and putting the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run on the base paths. Maue sacrificed the runners into scoring position, and Wypiszenski followed with a two-run double, giving the Spartans the lead back, 16-15. An RBI single for Kucia, an RBI double for Capetillo, and a two-RBI single for Cain increased the lead to 20-15 by the end of the frame, during which the Spartans sent 12 batters to the plate.
Freshman Paul Slota, who recorded the final out of the eighth, remained in for the ninth, retiring the side in order during the frame to secure the victory and improve to 2-0 on the year.
Emory senior Kyle Monk, another preseason All-American, took the loss on the day for Emory, falling to 6-1 for the season.
The Spartans will return to Cleveland for their home-opening series next weekend, when Case Western Reserve plays host to Brandeis University for a University Athletic Association matchup. The series will begin on Friday, March 31st, with a single game starting at 3:00 p.m.