18th-Ranked Spartans Sweep Sunday Doubleheader vs. Ohio Wesleyan

18th-Ranked Spartans Sweep Sunday Doubleheader vs. Ohio Wesleyan

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team, ranked 18th in Division III, bounced back from a loss on Saturday with a dominating performance on the road on Sunday, sweeping a doubleheader against Ohio Wesleyan University with an 11-1 win in the first game of the day and a 5-3 victory in game two at Littick Field in Delaware, Ohio.

The Spartans have now won 11 of their last 12 games and improved to 13-2 overall on the season.  Ohio Wesleyan dropped to 4-9 with the loss.

Game 1 – CWRU 11, Ohio Wesleyan 1
Case Western Reserve senior Ben Murphy turned in one of the best starts of his collegiate career, and junior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski hit a pair of home runs, to help lift the Spartans to an 11-1 win over Ohio Wesleyan in the first game of the doubleheader.

Murphy allowed just seven hits and a walk over eight shutout innings, striking out four batters.  He earned the win to improve to 2-1 on the year, while lowering his earned run average to 1.10 through three starts in 2018.

Meanwhile, the bottom of the Spartans' order – Wypiszenski, senior designated hitter Alex Capetillo and freshman shortstop Jacob Lott – combined for nine of the team's 18 hits over 15 at bats.  Wypiszenski finished the game two-for-five with the two home runs and three RBIs, Capetillo added a four-for-five day with three runs scored and a triple, and Lott ended the contest three-for-five with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored.  Junior second baseman Rocco Maue added a one-for-two performance with three runs scored, two RBIs and a stolen base to extend his hitting streak to 10-straight games, while senior outfielder Nate Glasser and junior third baseman Jacob Kucia each added two hits and a double apiece in the early game.

After a scoreless first inning, the Spartans took the lead on Wypiszenski's first home run of the game, a two-run blast to center field.  Later in the inning, a one-out two-run single by Maue extended the lead to 4-0.  Maue would steal third, and would come across the plate to bring the lead to 5-0 on a sacrifice fly by Glasser.

After escaping a two-out bases loaded situation in the bottom of the second, Murphy faced the minimum number of batters over the next four innings, retiring 12 of the next 13 batters he would face. 

Meanwhile, the Spartans would go on to add a single run in five of the next six innings, continuing to build their lead throughout the game.  Wypiszenski led off the seventh inning with a solo home run, his second of the game and third of the season, this time sending the ball over the wall in left field.  An RBI single by freshman Jake Ryan capped off the scoring on the day for CWRU, giving the Spartans an 11-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Sophomore Paul Slota pitched the ninth, allowing just one unearned run to score, helping CWRU close out the victory.

Ohio Wesleyan starter Seth Pritchett allowed seven runs (four earned) through four innings of work, suffering the loss in the game to drop to 0-2 on the year.

Game 2 – CWRU 5, Ohio Wesleyan 3
A four-run fourth inning helped back another solid pitching performance for the Spartans, as the team completed the doubleheader sweep of Ohio Wesleyan with a 5-3 win in the second game of the day.
 
Maue manufactured a run for CWRU in the top of the first inning, reaching on an infield single to shortstop, moving up two bases on a pair of wild pitches, and coming around to score on an RBI groundout by Glasser, giving the Spartans a 1-0 advantage.  Ohio Wesleyan answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning against CWRU freshman starter Matt Levine, knotting the score at 1-1.

Maue's speed would result in another run in the fourth inning, giving the Spartans a 2-1 lead after walking, stealing second and third, and scoring on a throwing error.  After back-to-back walks to Kucia and sophomore first baseman Casey McConihe, Wypiszenski doubled to plate another run, and a two-out single by sophomore outfielder Noah Mehrle capped off the four-run fourth, and give CWRU a 5-1 advantage.

Levine would allow a run in the fifth inning as well, and would leave the contest after five innings of work, having allowed four hits and four walks while striking out a batter.  Junior left-handed pitcher Corey Brown took over, and would yield just one run on a solo home run by Michael Blatchford over his 2.1 innings on the hill, allowing two hits and a walk, while striking out three.  With the score at 5-3 and the potential game-tying run at the plate, senior left-handed pitcher Liam Killingstad induced a groundout and a pop-out to end the eighth without any further damage, and sat the side down in order in the ninth to pick up his career-high matching fourth save of the year and 10th of his career.

Levine claimed his second win in three starts this season, improving to 2-0 overall on the season.

Sophomore outfielder Samuel Neal went two-for-four in the game with a walk, while Maue finished the contest one-for-three with two runs scored, two walks, and two more stolen bases.  Maue extended his hitting streak to 11 games with the effort, and leads the team with 12 stolen bases on as many attempts this year.

Canyon McWilliams started and took the loss for Ohio Wesleyan, falling to 0-1 on the year.

Case Western Reserve will now turn its attention to conference play, which is slated to begin next weekend.  The Spartans will welcome University Athletic Association rival Emory University to Cleveland, Ohio for a four-game series at Nobby's Ballpark, starting with a single game on Friday, March 30th at 3:00 p.m.