Case Western Reserve University freshman pitcher Matt Levine pitched the first complete-game shutout of his career on Sunday morning, lifting the 13th-ranked Spartans to a 4-0 win over Emory University at Nobby's Ballpark in Cleveland, Ohio.
The win clinched a series victory for the Spartans, who improved to 16-3 overall and sit in first place in the University Athletic Association with a 3-1 conference record. Emory dropped to 10-13 with the loss, including a 1-3 mark in the league.
Levine surrendered just six hits and a walk in the game, while striking out four batters. He allowed just one runner past second base in the game, and at one point retired nine-consecutive hitters between the sixth and ninth innings. The right-handed pitcher needed to throw just 103 pitches in the complete-game shutout, the first by a Spartan pitcher since former CWRU hurler Jake Shields registered one against Brandeis on April 2nd last season.
Levine improved to 3-0 on the season with the win, while lowering his earned run average to 1.80.
At the plate, Case Western Reserve did all of its damage with a four-run third inning against Emory freshman Christian Bradley, who was making the first start of his collegiate career in Sunday's game. Junior third baseman Jacob Kucia and freshman shortstop Jacob Lott opened the inning with back-to-back singles, and a perfect bunt down the third base line by sophomore outfielder Samuel Neal provided CWRU with its third hit of the inning, loading the bases with nobody out. A wild pitch would score Kucia, and sophomore outfielder Noah Mehrle extended the lead with a sacrifice fly. With two outs in the inning and runners still on second and third, sophomore first baseman Casey McConihe capped off the scoring with a two-RBI single, putting CWRU ahead 4-0.
Emory's best chance to score came in the fifth, when back-to-back one-out singles put men on the corners, but Levine escaped the inning unscored upon with a pop out and a fly out. He would allow just two more base runners for the remainder of the game, on his way to the victory.
Bradley would take the loss for Emory, falling to 1-1 on the season.
The Spartans will return to action next weekend with their first UAA road series of the weekend, traveling to Waltham, Massachusetts to face Brandeis University. The Spartans and the Judges are scheduled to begin their four-game series on Friday, April 6th at 3:00 p.m.