Late Game Runs Guide CWRU to 16-8 Win over Trinity

Late Game Runs Guide CWRU to 16-8 Win over Trinity

Case Western Reserve University scored 16 runs in the final four innings on Sunday, including 12 in the ninth inning alone, to overcome a pair of one-run deficits and defeat Trinity College (Conn.) 16-8 on Sunday afternoon at the Spartan Southern Classic at Lexington County Stadium in Lexington, South Carolina.

The win was the third-straight for CWRU, which improved to 5-1 overall and to 2-0 at the tournament.  Trinity, which opened its season with Sunday's game, fell to 0-1 on the year.

The Spartans registered a season-high 16 runs and 17 hits, while five CWRU pitchers combined to hold the Bantams to just six hits in the game.  CWRU's top-four hitters in the lineup combined to go 11-for-18 with 11 runs scored and four runs batted in, including a four-for-six game with from junior left fielder Jacob Pestel, and a two-for-four performance with three runs, three RBIs and a double for junior third baseman Jacob Kucia.

Sophomore left-handed pitcher Casey McConihe started and allowed just three hits in the game over five and a third innings, striking out four batters and walking four.  He held Trinity scoreless over the first four innings, before the Bantams took a 1-0 lead on two-out solo home run by leadoff hitter Matt Koperniak.  The Spartans responded in the top of the sixth, evening the score on an RBI single to centerfield for senior right fielder Nate Glasser that scored Kucia from third. 

Trinity regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double from Brendan Pierce.  McConihe would leave the game with runners on the corners and one out in the frame, but senior left-handed reliever Liam Killingstad entered the game and needed just two pitches to induce an inning-ending double play.

Once again, the Spartans would waste little time responding, this time taking their first lead of the game with a three-run top of the seventh.  With one out in the inning, sophomore center fielder Samuel Neal singled on a bunt to third, and junior second baseman Rocco Maue drew a walk following a nine-pitch at bat.  The next hitter, Kucia, singled to drive in Neal and tie the score, and both Maue and Kucia would score on a wild pitch later in the inning to give CWRU a 4-2 lead.

Killingstad pitched a scoreless seventh, and recorded an out in the eighth, with sophomore left-handed pitcher Scott Kutschke getting the final two outs of the frame.  In the ninth, the Spartans sent 17 batters to the plate, scoring 12 runs on nine hits, including a two-RBI double for Kucia, a two-RBI single for freshman Benjamin Stawicki, and RBI singles for Pestel, junior first baseman Mike Najmowicz, Maue, and senior Alex Capetillo, giving CWRU a 16-2 lead.  Trinity scored six runs of their own in the bottom of the frame, but freshman Tony Smodilla was able to close out the victory for the Spartans.

Killingstad was credited with the win, improving to 2-0 on the year, while reliever Andrew Deroche took the loss for Trinity.

Case Western Reserve will be back in action at the Spartan Southern Classic on Monday, when the team takes on fifth-ranked SUNY Cortland (5-5) for the second time at the event.  CWRU claimed a 3-2 win over the Red Dragons on Saturday.  First pitch on Monday is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.