The Case Western Reserve University baseball team will travel to Waltham, Massachusetts for its first University Athletic Association road trip of the season, when the 13th-ranked Spartans take on Brandeis University this weekend. The series is currently scheduled for a single game at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 6th, a doubleheader starting at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 7th, and a single game on Sunday, April 8th at 11:00 a.m.
**Live coverage could depend on the weather & location of each game. Any updates to live coverage links will be posted to the CWRU baseball schedule page at http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/schedule.**
Game 1 (Saturday 12:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180407_wtut.xml
Game 2 (Saturday 3:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180407_zd6o.xml
Game 3 (Sunday 11:00 AM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180408_avdp.xml
Game 4 (Sunday 2:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180406_ivhs.xml
The Spartans will enter the weekend ranked 13th in both the D3baseball.com and ABCA polls, and stand at 16-3 overall with a 4-1 road record. CWRU is coming off a series win against Emory at home last weekend that put the team in a tie for first place in the UAA with Washington University (Mo.) with a 3-1 record after one weekend of play. The Spartans' strength this season has been its pitching, which has recorded a 2.56 earned run average and a .224 opponents' batting average. Spartan hitters are batting .283 this season, and the team has averaged 6.8 runs per game.
Junior second baseman Rocco Maue has led the team at the plate with a .413 batting average, 27 runs scored, eight home runs, 20 runs batted in and 13 stolen bases on as many attempts. Sophomore outfielder Noah Mehrle has hit .298 this season, while junior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski is batting .269 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. Top starters for the team this year include junior Mark Gross (3-1, 0.90 ERA), senior Ben Murphy (3-1, 1.69 ERA), freshman Matt Levine (3-0, 1.80 ERA) and sophomore Casey McConihe (1-1, 3.57 ERA). Senior Liam Killingstad has made seven appearances out of the bullpen, going 2-0 with five saves and a 0.00 ERA, while junior Corey Brown (2-0, 2.08 ERA) and sophomore Scott Kutschke (2-0, 2.40 ERA) have been other major relief contributors to CWRU.
Head Coach Matt Englander is in his 12th season with the team, and holds a 274-206-2 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 .656 winning percentage (237-124-1) over the last nine seasons. Englander is assisted by Nick Callahan, Branden Stucky and Andrew Rossman.
Brandeis will be starting its UAA season this weekend against CWRU, following a 2-12 record and a fourth-place finish in the conference in 2017. The Judges have opened their 2018 season with a 2-9 record, including losses in each of their last three games. This weekend's games are also slated to be the first home contests of the year for Brandeis. The Judges are hitting .254 as a team and averaging 4.6 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a 7.40 ERA and has allowed opponents to hit .322.
Top hitters for Brandeis include sophomore outfielder Dan O'Leary (.342), freshman first baseman Isaac Fossas (.343, 1 HR, seven RBIs) and freshman outfielder Dan Frey (.289, 2 HRs, 10 RBIs). On the mound, sophomores Greg Tobin (1-1, 4.91 ERA) and Albert Gutierrez (0-2, 8.49 ERA) have been the team's top-two starters, while freshman Mason Newman has made four appearances out of the bullpen, going 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA.
The Judges are coached by Derek Carlson, who is now in his third season with the team, and has a record of 27-47-1 with Brandeis. Over his 16 year coaching career, which includes a 13-year stint at Roger Williams, he has a ledger of 288-314-3. Carlson is assisted by Chris Travers.
This weekend's games will be the first ever between CWRU and Brandeis played in Massachusetts. The Spartans have won six-straight games and 10 of their last 11 games against Brandeis, dating back to the 2013 season. Last year, CWRU swept a four-game series against Brandeis in Cleveland, outscoring the Judges 31-9 over the four contests. Junior third baseman Jacob Kucia hit .385 with two triples and a home run and drove in six runs during last year's series, while Ben Murphy pitched six shutout innings, allowing just two hits, en route to a winning start against the Judges last year.
- 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. The Spartans' .842 winning percentage is the best in the UAA and 13th among all Division III teams this season.
- CWRU's pitching staff ranks eighth in Division III with a 2.56 ERA and 16th with 7.48 hits allowed per game.
- The Spartans lead the UAA and are 26th in DIII with 1.00 double plays turned per game, while also pacing the conference with a 0.963 fielding percentage.
- The team also leads the UAA in doubles per game (2.21), home runs (12), and slugging percentage (.414).
- CWRU has gone 5-0 this season when scoring 10 runs or more, and has won 61-straight games when scoring 10 runs or more, dating back to April 17, 2011.
- The Spartans are hitting .306 against left-handed pitching, and .360 (nine-for-25) with the bases loaded this season.
- Following their series win last weekend, Rocco Maue (.333, 3 HRs, 2 2Bs, 3 RBI) and Matt Levine (complete-game shutout) were named the UAA hitter and pitcher of the week, respectively. It was the second honor of the season for Maue, while Levine claimed the award for the first time in his career.
- Levine's complete-game shutout was the first by a CWRU pitcher since former Spartan Jake Shields recorded one against Brandeis on April 2, 2017.
- Maue is tied for the NCAA Division III lead with eight home runs this season. He is one home run shy of matching the program record for home runs in a season, originally set by Steve Rosiek in 1986.
- Maue also leads the UAA in batting average and stolen bases, is second in the conference with 27 runs scored, tied for fourth with six doubles, and is seventh with 20 RBIs. His 1.42 runs scored per game are the 21st-most among DIII players.
- Tyler Wypiszenski is second in the conference with three home runs. He also leads the team with five multiple-RBI games, including two three-RBI affairs.
- Liam Killingstad's five saves this season rank 10th among all Division III players and lead the UAA. His 11 career saves are the third most in school history, and seven behind the program record, currently held by Dan Sondag (2012-15).
- Mark Gross is 25th among qualifying DIII pitchers with a 0.90 ERA. Ben Murphy ranks 90th with a 1.69 ERA, and Levine is 106th with a 1.80 ERA.
- Junior third baseman Jacob Kucia and sophomore center fielder Samuel Neal are the only two Spartan players to have started all 19 games at the same position this season.