Case Western Reserve University completed University Athletic Association play on Saturday, falling to 16th-ranked Washington University (Mo.) 5-0 in the opening game of the doubleheader, before forcing a split of the four-game series with a 10-1 victory in the second game.
With the split, the Spartans wrapped up conference competition for the season with a record of 11-5 in the University Athletic Association. Case Western Reserve sits three games behind the first-place Bears (6-2 in UAA play), who still have a pair of four-game series remaining against both New York University and Brandeis.
Case Western Reserve now stands at 17-14 overall, while the Bears are 18-8 following the Saturday split.
Game 1: #16 WashU 5, CWRU 0
The CWRU bats were stymied in the first game of the day, collecting just four hits over nine inning en route to a 5-0 loss to the Bears.
Senior centerfielder Aaron Cain had two of the team's four hits, while senior Tony Damiano and sophomore Jacob Kucia each added singles in the game as well.
Washington took a lead with a run in the first off CWRU sophomore southpaw Corey Brown, who made a spot start for the Spartans on Saturday. He went on to allow runs in the fourth and fifth innings as well, giving the Bears a 3-0 advantage after five frames.
Still trailing 3-0, CWRU brought the tying run to the plate with one out in both the seven and eighth innings, but could not capitalize on either opportunity. The Bears added two unearned runs in the top of the ninth, putting the game out of reach for the Spartans.
Brown took the loss in the game to fall to 1-1 on the year, despite allowing just three runs through 4.2 innings of work. Senior Preston Williams pitched well in relief, allowing just one hit and striking out three batters, while surrendering two unearned runs over the final 3.1 innings.
Washington starter Zack Kotin earned the win with 6.1 shutout innings, improving to 3-2, while Jake Mintz closed out the final 2.2 innings for his second save of the year.
Game 2: CWRU 10, WashU 1
The Spartans' offense came alive in the second game, as freshman Chris Shorter hit the first two home runs of his career, and Damiano added his first of the season, pacing Case Western Reserve to a 10-1 win over the Bears.
Shorter hit a solo home run on the first pitch he saw in the first inning, giving the Spartans the lead, and then added a two-run blast in the fifth, getting a green-light on a 3-0 pitch and driving over the wall in leftfield. Shorter went two-for-three with three RBIs, two runs and a walk in the game, raising his batting average to .400 for the year.
Damiano added a two-for-five day at the plate with four RBIs, including a three-run home run in the third that broke a 1-1 tie, and added an insurance run with an RBI double in the eighth inning. Cain finished the game three-for-four with a double, three runs, an RBI and a stolen base, while freshman Noah Mehrle and sophomore Danny Souza each collected two hits during the contest.
Freshman Casey McConihe recorded the best start of his young career, allowing just one run on four hits and four walks over seven innings, while striking out three batters. He earned the win in the game, raising his season record to 2-0. Freshman Paul Slota and junior Liam Killingstad each pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen to finish off the victory.
Bears' starter Scott Nelson allowed four runs in four innings to take the loss in the game, dropping to 2-2 on the year.
The Spartans will be back in action next weekend, hosting a four-game series against the University of Chicago at Nobby's Ballpark. The series will begin with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 22nd, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:00 p.m.