Baseball Completes Four-Game Sweep of Chicago on Sunday

Baseball Completes Four-Game Sweep of Chicago on Sunday

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team completed a four-game sweep of its weekend series against the University of Chicago, defeating the Maroons 9-4 in the early game, and following with a 6-4 victory in the late contest on Sunday afternoon at Nobby's Ballpark in Cleveland, Ohio.

The two wins raise the Spartans' record to 21-14, heading into the team's final five games of the 2017 regular season.  Chicago dropped to 17-10 following the sweep.

Senior outfielder Josh Neal, sophomore shortstop Rocco Maue and freshman first baseman/ pitcher Casey McConihe each drove in three runs during Sunday's action, while the CWRU bullpen allowed just one run on four hits over nine and a third innings of work during the day.

Game 1: CWRU 9, Chicago 4
The Spartans notched 13 hits, including at least one for each batter in the game, rolling to a 9-4 win over Chicago in the first game of the day.

After Chicago scored two runs in the top of the first inning off McConihe, Case Western Reserve took advantage of three errors in the bottom of the inning to score three unearned runs and take the lead in the game.  Back-to-back errors to start the game put the first two men on, and after a sacrifice bunt, McConihe helped his own cause with an RBI groundout.  An infield hit by sophomore catcher Tyler Wypiszenski tied the game a batter later, and an RBI double by Neal later in the inning put CWRU out in front 3-2.

The Spartans remained in front by a run until the bottom of the fourth, when the team loaded the bases with nobody out.  Junior second baseman Alex Capetillo brought across the first run of the inning with a walk, and a one-out sacrifice fly by sophomore third baseman Jacob Kucia, followed by an RBI single from senior right fielder Tony Damiano, increased the lead to 6-2.

Chicago cut the lead to 6-4 with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings against McConihe, who allowed four earned runs on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts in the game.  Freshman Scott Kutschke took over on the mount with two outs in the sixth, retiring the final batter and allowing just one batter to reach on an error over his next three innings of scoreless, hitless relief, helping to secure the victory for the team.

A double by senior outfielder Aaron Cain in the sixth and RBIs from Neal and Maue in the seventh added to the CWRU lead in the game.

McConihe picked up a win for his second-straight start, improving to 3-0 on the year.  Kutschke earned his second save of the season with his relief outing on Sunday.

Cain, Wypiszenski, Neal, and freshman first baseman Noah Mehrle each had two hits in the game, while eight different Spartan players drove in at least one run in the game.

Starting pitcher Joe Liberman allowed six runs in four innings for Chicago, taking the loss to fall to 2-1 on the year.

Game 2: CWRU 6, Chicago 4
McConihe hit his first career home run, and the CWRU bullpen held Chicago to one run on four hits over six innings, as the Spartans completed the sweep of the Maroons with a 6-4 win in game two.

McConihe and Maue each drove in a pair of runs in the game, while Cain and Wypiszenski each registered two of the team's eight hits in the late contest, including a double apiece.

For the second time, Chicago took an early lead with a first inning run off senior starter Preston Williams, but the Spartans answered back with two runs in the bottom of the first on a two-run home run by McConihe.  The Maroons answered back with a run each of the second and third innings, taking a 3-2 lead that would hold into the sixth frame.

Williams left after three innings with a no decision, with freshman Paul Slota holding Chicago scoreless on three hits over three innings of work.  In the bottom of the sixth, with runners on second and third and one out, Maue singled up the middle to score two runs, and turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead.  CWRU added insurance runs on a Kucia RBI single in the seventh and a Neal RBI hit in the eighth, carrying a 6-3 advantage into the final frame.

Junior pitcher Liam Killingstad pitched two and a third solid innings for the Spartans, but ran into trouble in the ninth, loading the bases on three-straight one out walks.  Sophomore Corey Brown entered the game, and got the second out of the inning on a fly ball to right field that chased Damiano back to the warning track, where he made an over-the-shoulder grab.  Despite a run scoring on the play, Brown was able to secure the win, inducing a popout from the next batter to end the contest.

Slota earned the win in relief to improve to 4-1 on the campaign, while Brown claimed his first save of the year.  Chicago's Daniel Smith picked up the loss in relief to drop to 1-2 on the season.

With five more games remaining on their 2017 regular season schedule, the Spartans will begin the final stretch of their campaign with a Tuesday, April 25th matchup at the seventh-ranked College of Wooster at 4:00 p.m.