#13 CWRU Baseball Sweeps Brandeis; Maue Sets Spartan Season Home Run Record

#13 CWRU Baseball Sweeps Brandeis; Maue Sets Spartan Season Home Run Record

The 13th-ranked Case Western Reserve University baseball team extended its lead in the University Athletic Association standings on Saturday with a sweep of a road doubleheader against Brandeis University.  The Spartans claimed a 5-2 win in the early contest, before completing the sweep with a 12-6 victory over the Judges in game two.

The Spartans have now won five-straight games to improve to 18-3 overall.  CWRU stands at 5-1 in UAA contests, and sits two games ahead of both Emory and Washington in the conference standings.  Brandeis dropped to 2-11 overall and to 0-2 in the UAA with the two losses.

Junior second baseman Rocco Maue connected on his ninth and tenth home runs of the season, each in the second game of the doubleheader, setting a new program record for home runs in a season, breaking the mark originally set by Steve Rosiek in 1986.  It was his second multiple home run game of the season, and five of his 10 home runs have now come in conference play this season.

Game 1: CWRU 5, Brandeis 2
Junior Mark Gross threw 7.2 strong innings in the opening game of the series at Victory Park in Watertown, Massachusetts to help lead the Spartans to a 5-2 win over Brandeis.

CWRU pitching totaled 11 strikeouts in the game, including a season-high nine for Gross, who improved to 4-1 on the season with a 1.13 ERA.  Gross allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk in the game

Brandeis struck early in the game, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-out RBI double by Dan Frey.  However, the Spartans responded with a run in the top of the second, when junior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski tripled to score senior outfielder Nate Glasser, and even the score at 1-1.  CWRU took its first lead of the game in the top of the fifth, when a two-out double from sophomore outfielder Samuel Neal scored senior designated hitter Alex Capetillo, putting the Spartans ahead 2-1.  In the top of the eighth, a squeeze bunt by sophomore outfielder Noah Mehrle scored Neal from third, and extended the CWRU lead to 3-1, and a two-out error later in the inning allowed Glasser to cross the plate and put the Spartans ahead by three runs.

After allowing a run in the first inning, Gross kept Brandeis off the scoreboard again until the bottom of the eighth, when a two-out double by Donnie Weisse cut the CWRU advantage to 4-2.  Senior Liam Killingstad recorded the final out of the eighth inning to preserve the two-run advantage, and in the top of the ninth, Neal had a sacrifice fly to score Capetillo and push the CWRU lead to 5-2.

Killingstad pitched a scoreless ninth inning, securing his sixth save in as many chances this year.

Capetillo went three-for-four with a double and two runs in the game, and Neal added a one-for-two performance with a run, two RBIs, two walks and two stolen bases.  The Spartans outhit Brandeis 7-5 in the game, and walked five times in the contest.

Brandeis starting pitcher Greg Tobin took the loss for the Judges, dropping to 1-2 on the year.

Game 2: CWRU 12, Brandeis 6
The second game of the series moved back to Brandeis' home field, Stein Diamond, but the result was similar, as the Spartans claimed a 12-6 win over the Judges.

The Spartans' offense shined in the second game, collecting season-highs with 19 hits, seven doubles and four home runs, en route to the victory.  It was the sixth time this season that CWRU has scored 10 or more runs in a game.

Capetillo went four-for-six in the game with a home run, two doubles, two runs and two RBIs.  Maue added a three-for-five game with a double, two home runs, four RBIs and four runs.  Freshman outfielder Benjamin Stawicki, junior third baseman Jacob Kucia, junior first baseman Mike Najmowicz and freshman shortstop Jacob Lott each had two hits in the game as well.

Neal opened the second game with a walk and came around to score a batter later on an RBI double for Maue.  Maue would later extend the lead to 2-0, coming across the plate on a sacrifice fly from junior outfielder Jacob Pestel.

With two outs in the fourth inning, Maue connected for a two-run home run, giving CWRU a four-run advantage.  Wypiszenski led off the fifth inning with a solo home run, his fourth of the season, and Lott added an RBI single later in the inning to give the Spartans a 6-0 advantage.  Capetillo, Pestel and Kucia all had RBI hits in the sixth inning, helping CWRU take a 9-0 lead over Brandeis.

Sophomore starting pitcher Casey McConihe would pitch the first six innings of the game, scattering six hits and four walks, while striking out five batters and allowing just one run.  He would go on to earn the victory in the game, improving to 2-1 on the year.

The Spartans' bullpen yielded four runs in the bottom of the eighth, as Brandeis pulled back within four, 9-5, but back-to-back solo home runs by Maue and Capetillo and an RBI single for Stawicki helped CWRU take a 12-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth.  Brandeis got a run back in the ninth, but sophomore Scott Kutschke was able to end the game with no further damage.

Brandeis' Tim Lopez started and took the loss for the Judges, falling to 0-2 on the year.

The Spartans and the Judges will complete their two-game series on Sunday, April 8th with a doubleheader starting at 11:00 a.m.