Case Western Reserve University pitchers yielded just three earned runs over 17.2 innings of a doubleheader at Spalding University on Sunday afternoon, but it was not enough to put the Spartans in the win column, as the team dropped the opening game 2-0, and suffered a 3-2 defeat in 10 innings in the second contest.
The losses dropped the Spartans to 0-3 on the season, while Spalding improved to 5-1.
Game 1: Spalding 2, CWRU 0
Case Western Reserve freshman southpaw Nick Denove had a strong debut on the mound for the Spartans, but the bats could not get started for CWRU in a 2-0 loss in the opening game.
Denove threw seven solid innings, striking out seven batters and allowing two runs on three hits and a walk, but ultimately come out on the short side to draw the tough-luck loss and fall to 0-1 on the season. Freshman righty Willem Bouma made his collegiate debut as well on Sunday, throwing a perfect eighth inning.
Spalding got on the board in the fourth inning on an RBI triple by Jacob Reece that plated Quenton Brownlee. Reece added an insurance run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly that again scored Brownlee.
The Spartans mounted an attempt at a late rally, loading the bases with two outs in the ninth on a double by sophomore leftfielder Jake Ryan, a Jacob Kucia hit-by-pitch, and a single by junior centerfielder Samuel Neal. However, pinch hitter Noah Mehrle was struck out to end the game.
Spalding's Zach Jones struck out 12 and allowed just four hits through 8.2 innings to pick up his first win of the year. Aaron Blake notched the final out of the game for his second save in as many games.
Game 2: Spalding 3, CWRU 2 (10 inn.)
Sophomore pitcher Matt Levine followed Denove with 8.1 strong innings of his own on the mound, but CWRU ultimately suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in 10 innings in the second game of the doubleheader.
CWRU took the lead in the second inning of the game, when Kucia led off the frame with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI groundout. In the third, the Spartans expanded their lead to 2-0 after senior second baseman Rocco Maue doubled and came around to score on an RBI single by sophomore first baseman Benjamin Stawicki.
Levine would make the lead hold up until the ninth inning. Spalding got on the board in the fifth inning with an unearned run, but Levine would allow just four hits and three walks, while striking out five batters. He left the game with two on and one out in the ninth, but a two-out triple by Reece drove in Brownlee, and knotted the score at 2-2, sending the game into extra innings.
After a scoreless top of the 10th, a pair of walks and a throwing error by the Spartans allowed the game-winning run to cross with two outs, giving the Golden Eagles the walk-off win.
The Spartans will be back in action next weekend, facing Washington and Jefferson in a doubleheader on the road on Saturday, March 2nd, and returning to Cleveland on Sunday, March 3rd for their home opener against Allegheny with another doubleheader. As always, the schedule is subject to change due to weather, and any updates will be posted to athletics.case.edu as soon as they are made available.