At the team's annual game at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, the Case Western Reserve University baseball team paid tribute to its seven graduating senior players with a special ceremony prior to a 10-5 loss to John Carroll University on Wednesday afternoon.
The Spartans' seven senior players – outfielder Aaron Cain, outfielder Tony Damiano, catcher Eric Eldred, outfielder Josh Neal, and pitchers Andrew Rossman, Jake Shields and Preston Williams – will graduate as one of the most successful classes in the program's history, going 106-57 for a .650 winning percentage during their four years on the team. They qualified for the NCAA Championship Tournament twice over their careers, while earning a regional runner-up finish and a UAA Championship, and setting the program record for wins in a season in 2014. All seven seniors appeared in the game on Wednesday.
The seniors highlighted the day at the plate for CWRU, with Cain going two-for-five with a run scored, Damiano registering a one-for-four day with three runs scored, and Neal adding a one-for-five day with a two-run triple. Sophomore designated hitter Tyler Wypiszenski notched a double and an RBI during Wednesday's game.
However, the Spartans fell in an early hole, after the Blue Streaks struck for a run in the first and three more in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead. The Spartans struck back for two in the bottom of the fourth on Neal's two-RBI triple, but the Blue Streaks added a run in the fifth and broke the game open with a five-run sixth inning, taking a 10-2 advantage.
Case Western Reserve had its chances in the final innings, scoring a run in the sixth on an error, but leaving the bases loaded in the frame. RBI groundouts by Damiano and Wypiszenski in the seventh cut John Carroll's lead to five runs, but CWRU would again leave the bases loaded in the eighth, and go down in order in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Rossman started and allowed a run in his only inning of work, taking the loss for the Spartans to fall to 0-1 on the year. John Carroll starter Christopher Hanley earned the win to raise his record to 1-1.
The Spartans dropped to 22-16 with the loss, while John Carroll improved to 17-19. Case Western Reserve will wrap-up its 2017 regular season on Sunday with a doubleheader at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio at 1:00 p.m.