CWRU Opens Series with 5-3 Win over NYU; Runs Win-Streak to Seven

CWRU Opens Series with 5-3 Win over NYU; Runs Win-Streak to Seven

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team extended its winning streak to seven-straight games with a 5-3 win in the opening game of a four-game series against New York University at MCU Park in Brooklyn, New York on Friday afternoon.

The Spartans improved to 13-11 overall, including a 7-2 record in University Athletic Association play, with Friday's win.  New York University fell to 11-5 with the loss, and to 0-1 in the conference.

Senior left fielder Josh Neal led the team at the plate, going three-for-four with a walk and his second home run of the season.  With the performance, he raised his batting average to .328 for the season, and is hitting .500 (eight-for-16) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and six runs batted in over his last four games.

Sophomore Mark Gross earned the win on the mound, allowing just three runs on seven hits and a walk over seven innings of work, and striking out four batters.  He raised his record to 3-3 for the season, while lowering his earned run average to 3.28.

NYU struck first on Friday, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 advantage.  Gross would settle in from there, holding the Violets scoreless from the end of the first until the bottom of the seventh.

The Spartans continued to trail 2-0 until the top of the fifth, when the Spartans loaded the bases with two away, and senior right fielder Tony Damiano followed with a two-RBI single to knot the score.

Still tied going into the top of the seventh, Neal put the Spartans out in front for the first time, connecting on a one-out solo home run, his second is the team's last three games, giving CWRU a 3-2 advantage.  However, NYU answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning off Gross, tying the score again.

Senior Eric Eldred singled to lead off the eighth for the Spartans, and three wild pitches later, came across to score the go-ahead run.  Two walks and two more wild pitches allowed freshman Casey McConihe to add a run to the Spartans' total, putting the team on top 5-3 after seven and a half innings.

Junior Liam Killingstad closed out the game with two perfect inning of work to earn his second save of the season.  The southpaw retired all six batters he faced in the game, striking out a pair in the ninth.

Eldred went one-for-four at the plate during the game, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, the longest hitting streak this season by a CWRU player.  Damiano added a two-for-four performance at the plate, including the two-RBI single in the fifth.

NYU senior reliver Jarret Weiss allowed the two runs in the eighth, taking the loss on the day to drop to 3-1 for the year.

The Spartans and the Violets will continue their series on Saturday, April 8th with a doubleheader starting at 12:00 p.m. in Brooklyn.