The Case Western Reserve University baseball team, winners of seven-straight games and ranked 11th in Division III, will return home to Nobby's Ballpark in Cleveland, Ohio for a four-game weekend series against New York University this weekend. The Spartans will face the Violets at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 13th, to be followed by a doubleheader on Saturday, April 14th starting at 12:00 p.m., and wrapping up with a single game at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 15th.
**Game times subject to change due to weather. All game time updates & live coverage links will be posted to athletics.case.edu**
Live Video: http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/live
Game 1 (Friday 12:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180413_k2fn.xml
Game 2 (Friday 3:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180415_dhm5.xml
Game 3 (TBD): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180414_pgbo.xml
Game 4 (TBD): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2017-18/boxscores/20180414_11lm.xml
The Spartans, ranked 11th in the latest D3baseball.com Top-25 and ninth in the ABCA/ Collegiate Baseball Poll, have won seven-consecutive games to improve to 20-3 overall, including a 4-2 record in home games. CWRU is 7-1 in UAA play, and currently has a three-game lead in the conference standings over both Washington University (Mo.) and Emory University, which each currently stand at 4-4 in league play. The team is coming off a four-game sweep of Brandeis in Waltham, Massachusetts last weekend, outscoring the Judges 39-19 over the course of the series. CWRU is batting .295 as a team and averaging 7.3 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a 2.81 earned run average with a .223 opponents' batting average.
Junior second baseman Rocco Maue has led the team, batting .400 with 10 home runs, 25 runs batted in and 16 stolen bases. Junior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski is hitting .282 with 20 RBIs and 14 extra base hits, including four home runs, and freshman shortstop Jacob Lott has added a .282 average with two home runs and 17 RBIs. The CWRU rotation consists of junior Mark Gross (4-1, 1.13 ERA), sophomore Casey McConihe (2-1, 3.14 ERA), senior Ben Murphy (4-1, 1.55 ERA) and freshman Matt Levine (4-0, 3.00 ERA), while senior Liam Killingstad (2-0, 0.00 ERA, seven saves), junior Corey Brown (2-0, 2.53 ERA, one save) and sophomore Scott Kutschke (2-0, 2.81 ERA) have been the team's top options out of the bullpen.
Head Coach Matt Englander is in his 12th season with the team, and holds a 278-206-2 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 .660 winning percentage (241-124-1) over the last nine seasons. Englander is assisted by Nick Callahan, Branden Stucky and Andrew Rossman.
The Violets will enter the weekend with a 20-4 record, including a 4-0 mark in road games, and sit in fourth place in the UAA with a 1-3 record. The team received votes in both the D3baseball.com and ABCA/ Collegiate Baseball polls this week. NYU is coming off a sweep of a three-game series at RPI last weekend with wins of 4-2, 16-2, and 15-1. The Violets are hitting .317 as a team and scoring 9.5 runs per game, and the pitching staff has notched a 2.59 ERA with a .236 opponents' batting average.
Leading hitters for the Violets include sophomore outfielder Coltrane Tait (.389, three home runs, 31 RBIs), junior first baseman Colman Hendershot (.379, two home runs, 38 RBIs) and senior third baseman Jonathan Iaione (.352, one home run, 34 RBIs), the reigning UAA Most Valuable Player. The team's starting rotation consists of senior Cameron Serapilio-Frank (6-0, 1.17 ERA), sophomore Ford Ladd (4-2, 2.66 ERA), sophomore Sal Cammisuli (4-1, 1.29 ERA) and freshman Tim Salvadore (4-1, 3.48 ERA), while freshman Joseph Prisco (1-0, 0.93 ERA), freshman Gabriel Golob (2.70 ERA, one save) and senior Matthew Millus (1-0, 3.38 ERA) have been three of the team's top options out of the bullpen
The Violets are coached by Doug Kimbler, who is in his ninth season as a head coach and has a career record of 124-175. He has gone 84-62 during his four years at NYU, and also has recorded stints at NYU-Poly and Hartwick over his coaching career. Kimbler is assisted by Chris Bayer, Tommy Cardona, Mike Mobbs, Jack Winters and Dom Chiodi.
The Spartans and the Violets have met six times in the last three seasons, since NYU reinstated its baseball program in 2015 after a 41-year hiatus. CWRU has gone 4-2 in those six meetings, including a 3-1 series win in Brooklyn last year. During the four-game series last year, Casey McConihe hit .500, Alex Capetillo hit a home run and drove in six runs, and Tyler Wypiszenski went four-for-seven with three doubles and three RBIs. On the mound, Liam Killingstad recorded a pair of saves, while Mark Gross and Corey Brown each recorded wins for the team.
This weekend's games will be the first-ever played between the two teams in Cleveland.
- The Spartans' ranking of 11th in the latest D3baseball.com Poll is the highest in the program's history. The Spartans are sixth among Division III teams with a .870 winning percentage. The team is off to its best start in the program's history, reaching the 20-win mark faster than any other squad in program history.
- CWRU players have combined for nine home runs in conference games this season, while the rest of the conference has a combined five home runs. Overall for the season, Spartan players have hit 18 home runs, while the rest of the UAA has hit a combined 21 home runs.
- CWRU has gone 7-0 this season when scoring 10 runs or more, and has won 63-straight games when scoring 10 runs or more, dating back to April 17, 2011.
- Rocco Maue hit a pair of home runs in the team's second game against Brandeis on Saturday to set a new program single-season record with 10 home runs this season, passing the previous school-record mark of nine, set by Steve Rosiek in 1986. Maue is currently tied for the Division III lead in home runs this season, and is fourth among Division III players with 0.43 home runs per game. In addition, Maue leads the UAA with a .400 batting average (192nd in DIII), a .800 slugging percentage (11th in DIII), 16 stolen bases (33rd in DIII), 0.70 stolen bases per game (44th in DIII) and 76 total bases (13th in DIII). He is also second in the UAA with 33 runs (34th in DIII) and 1.43 runs per game (19th in DIII).
- Maue leads the team with 10 multiple-hit games this season, including four three-hit games. Tyler Wypiszenski has paced the squad with five multiple-RBI games.
- Liam Killingstad leads the UAA and is third among NCAA Division III players with seven saves this season. He is two saves behind Jose Vega's CWRU single-season record of nine, set in 2012, and his 13 career saves are five behind the program record of 18, set by Dan Sondag (2012-15). Right-handed hitters are batting just .097 (three-for-31) against Killingstad this season.
- Mark Gross is 30th in DIII and second in the UAA with a 1.13 ERA, and leads all UAA pitchers with a 0.92 WHIP (48th in DIII). Ben Murphy is 67th in Division III and fifth in the UAA with a 1.55 ERA.
- Murphy was selected as the UAA Pitcher of the Week after allowing just one earned run on four hits over 7.2 innings during an 8-3 win over Brandeis. Senior designated hitter Alex Capetillo was named the UAA Hitter of the Week, after batting .667 (12-of-18) with five runs, three doubles a home run, four RBIs and three stolen bases during the four-game series last weekend. It was the first career conference athlete of the week honor for each player.
- Capetillo is batting .706 (12-for-17) with two outs in an inning this season.
- Sophomore outfielder Samuel Neal and Maue have occupied the top-two spots in the batting order in each of the team's 23 games this season. Neal (centerfield) and junior third baseman Jacob Kucia are the only two CWRU players to have started every game at the same position all year.
- CWRU is 8-0 in games where junior outfielder Jacob Pestel hits cleanup. The team is 15-0 when Wypiszenski bats fifth through eighth in the order.