#13 Spartans Fall to Emory in UAA Opener

#13 Spartans Fall to Emory in UAA Opener

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team, ranked 13th in Division III, suffered a 5-2 setback to Emory University in the teams' opening game of University Athletic Association play at Nobby's Ballpark in Cleveland, Ohio on Friday afternoon.

The loss dropped the Spartans to 13-3 on the year, while Emory improved to 10-10.

Junior pitcher Mark Gross came out on the short side of the game, despite pitching well.  The right-handed pitcher allowed just three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks, while striking out five batters of eight innings of work.  He fell to 3-1 with a 0.90 ERA following the loss.

The Spartans started strong in the game, putting the first two batters on in the bottom of the first on a single by sophomore Samuel Neal, and a walk to junior second baseman Rocco Maue.  After a wild pitch put the two runners into scoring position, a sacrifice fly by Tyler Wypiszenski made it a 1-0 CWRU lead after a frame.

However, Emory responded with two runs in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead, and added an unearned run in the fifth to go ahead by a pair of runs. 

The score remained 3-1 until the bottom of the eighth, when Maue launched a one-out solo home run, his conference-leading sixth of the year, to bring CWRU back within a run.  The solo home run extended Maue's hitting streak to 12-straight games.

Emory added on two more runs off reliever Scott Kutschke in the top of the ninth, carrying a three-run lead into the bottom of the inning.  Emory sophomore Richard Brereton, who would go on to earn the complete game win, gave up a double to sophomore Casey McConihe and a walk to freshman Jake Ryan to start the inning.  However, he would go on to retire the next three batters in order, closing out the win for the Eagles.

Neal collected two of the team's six hits on Friday, finishing the game two-for-four with a run scored, and raising his batting average to .290.

Brereton earned the win for Emory, improving to 2-3 on the campaign.

The Spartans and the Eagles will continue their series on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 10:00 a.m.