The 13th-ranked Case Western Reserve University baseball team will open its 2018 University Athletic Association schedule at home this weekend with four games against Emory University at Nobby's Ballpark in Cleveland, Ohio. The series is scheduled to begin on Friday, March 30th with a single game starting at 3:00 p.m., followed by a doubleheader on Saturday, March 31st starting at noon, and concluding with a single game at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Game 1 (Friday, 3:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180330_j178.xml
Game 2 (Saturday, 12:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180331_2cyo.xml
Game 3 (Saturday, 3:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180331_l03n.xml
Game 4 (Sunday, 11:00 AM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180401_0c6y.xml
The Spartans, ranked 13th in both the D3baseball.com Top-25 and the ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Poll, will open their 2018 UAA season following an 11-5 record and a second place finish in the conference last year. CWRU is 13-2 overall this season, including a 2-0 record at home, and has won 12 of its last 13 games, including taking three-of-four from Ohio Wesleyan last weekend. The Spartans are batting .292 as a team and averaging 7.2 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a 2.51 ERA with a .224 opponents' batting average.
Junior second baseman Rocco Maue leads the team with a .433 batting average, 22 runs scored, five home runs, 17 RBIs and 12 stolen bases on as many attempts. Junior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski has added a .264 batting average with five doubles, two triples, three home runs and 15 runs batted in, while sophomore outfielder Noah Mehrle (.319) and senior outfielder Nate Glasser (.306) are both batting over .300 this year as well. On the mound, junior Mark Gross is 3-0 with a 0.56 ERA over four starts and senior Ben Murphy has gone 2-1 with a 1.10 ERA. Senior Liam Killingstad has made six appearances out of the bullpen, going 2-0 with four saves and is yet to allow a run through 9.2 innings of work.
Head Coach Matt Englander is in his 12th season with the team, and holds a 271-205-2 career record. The 2014 Mideast Region Coach of the Year and winningest coach in program history has led the team to eight-consecutive seasons of 24 or more victories, two UAA Championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances, while notching a .655 winning percentage (234-123-1) over the last nine seasons. Englander is assisted by Nick Callahan, Branden Stucky and Andrew Rossman.
Emory has qualified for the NCAA Championships each of the last four years, but has struggled at times this season, and will enter the weekend with a 9-10 record, including a 3-7 ledger in road contests. The Eagles have won five of their last six games, including a 12-10 win over Covenant College at home on Tuesday. The squad went 9-7 in conference play last season, finishing third in the UAA standings. This year, Emory is batting .286 as a team and averaging 6.3 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a 5.55 team ERA with a .279 opponents' average.
At the plate, freshman outfielder Jack Rubenstein has led the team with a .385 average, while sophomore third baseman Christopher Stern has hit .378 with two home runs and 24 RBIs. Sophomore Richard Brereton has pulled double-duty for the Eagles, batting .333 with 11 RBIs, while making six starts and going 1-3 with a 5.45 ERA. Freshman Jack Moore has been the team's other primary starter, recording a 1-3 record with a 5.93 ERA, and junior Brian Taggett has led the squad with 11 bullpen appearances and a 4.09 ERA.
Emory is coached by Mike Twardoski, who is now in his 19th season with the program, and possesses a career record of 550-260-1. He is assisted by Bobby Perez, Ryan Mossman and Sean West.
This weekend's games will mark the first ever played between the long-time conference opponents in Cleveland, after having played eight of the previous 43 matchups in Atlanta, and the rest during the UAA Tournament in Florida, which was discontinued after the 2016 season. The Spartans are 13-30 all-time against Emory, but have won 12 of the last 23 matchups between the two teams, dating back to 2007.
Last year, the Spartans split their four-game series with the Eagles in Atlanta, losing both games of a Friday doubleheader, 11-1 and 4-0, before bouncing back with wins of 11-2 and 20-15 the next day.
- The Spartans' ranking of 13th in this week's D3baseball.com Top-25 matches the highest ranking in program history. CWRU had previously been ranked 13th in the final poll of the 2014 campaign.
- Case Western Reserve's pitching staff ranks seventh in Division III in earned run average (2.51) and 16th in fewest hits allowed per game (7.41).
- The CWRU defense is second among Division III teams with 1.27 double plays turned per game, and leads all UAA teams with a 0.965 fielding percentage.
- The Spartans lead the UAA in home runs per game (0.6) and doubles per game (2.13) in 2018.
- CWRU has gone 4-0 this season when scoring 10 runs or more, and has won 60-straight games when scoring 10 runs or more, dating back to April 17, 2011.
- The Spartans are batting .319 (58-of-182) as a team against left-handed pitchers and .391 (nine-of-23) with the bases loaded, while reaching base at a .439 clip to lead off innings this season.
- Junior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski was named the UAA Hitter of the Week for the first time this season and the second time over his career this week. Junior pitcher Mark Gross was named the UAA Pitcher of the Week this week for the second time this campaign, and the fourth time over his career.
- Rocco Maue will enter the weekend with an 11-game hitting streak, both the longest active streak on the team, and the longest streak this season by a CWRU player.
- Maue currently leads the UAA with a .433 batting average (115th in DIII), five home runs (18th in DIII), 0.33 home runs per game (14th in DIII), 12 stolen bases (28th in DIII) and 0.80 stolen bases per game (24th in DIII). He is also second in the conference and 17th among Division III players with 1.47 runs scored per game.
- Gross is 18th among Division III players and leads the UAA with a 0.56 ERA this season. Ben Murphy is fourth in the UAA and 57th in DIII with a 1.10 ERA.
- Liam Killingstad's four saves this season rank 15th among Division III pitchers and currently lead the UAA. His 10 career saves are the third most in school history, and eight behind the program record, currently held by Dan Sondag (2012-15).
- Wypiszenski leads the team with five multiple-RBI games, including a pair of three RBI games this year. Maue has paced the team with seven multiple-hit games, including a five-hit game and a pair of three-hit games.
- CWRU is 4-0 in games started by Gross on the mound and 3-0 in contests started by freshman pitcher Matt Levine.
- Junior third baseman Jacob Kucia and sophomore center fielder Samuel Neal are the only two Spartan players to have started all 15 games at the same position this season.