The Case Western Reserve University baseball team suffered a setback in their opening game of the 2019 campaign, falling 6-5 to Spalding University in the opening game of a three-game series on Saturday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky.
The loss dropped the Spartans to 0-1 on the year, while Spalding improved to 3-1 on the campaign with the win.
Sophomore designated hitter Tre Armstrong went two-for-five in the game with a double and the first home run of his career. Sophomore first baseman Benjamin Stawicki added a two-for-five day at the plate as well, including a double.
Senior pitcher Mark Gross suffered the loss in the game for the Spartans, despite allowing just two earned runs over six innings of work. He surrendered just four hits and a pair of walks, while striking out six batters, but was hurt by a pair of errors, allowing three unearned runs to cross the plate.
Spalding took an early lead in the game, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. The Spartans responded in the top of the fourth, as senior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski crossed the plate on an error during the frame, cutting the deficit to 2-1. However, the Golden Eagles added on two more in the bottom of the fourth, increasing their lead to 4-1.
CWRU would even the score in the fifth inning. Maue started the frame with a single, and advanced to third on a double by Stawicki. Maue later came around to score on a passed ball, and back-to-back walks loaded the bases with one away. Senior outfielder Jacob Pestel drew a third-straight walk, forcing in the second run of the inning, and senior third base Jacob Kucia followed with a single to drive in the game-tying run. However, back-to-back strikeouts ended the Spartans threat, and kept the score tied at 4-4.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the sixth, when a Zane Baker solo home run put Spalding back ahead. Baker would add a key insurance run in the eighth with a sacrifice fly against senior left-handed relief pitcher Corey Brown to increase the Golden Eagles' lead to 6-4.
Armstrong started off the Spartans' last trip to the plate strong, keeping hope alive for CWRU with a leadoff home run, and pulling CWRU back within a run. However, the Golden Eagles went to Aaron Blake out of the bullpen, who struck out the next three batters to notch the save.
Gross took the loss in the game, falling to 0-1 on the season, while Lane Staples earned the win in relief for Spalding to improve to 1-0, and Blake picked up his first save of the year.
The Spartans and the Golden Eagles will wrap-up their series with a doubleheader tomorrow, starting at 11:00 a.m. Please check back at athletics.case.edu for any potential changes due to weather.