The Case Western Reserve University baseball team has made some adjustments to its weekend schedule, and will now play a doubleheader against Washington & Jefferson starting at 3:15 p.m. on Friday, March 1st, and then host a doubleheader against Allegheny College starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 2nd.
Friday, March 1 at Washington & Jefferson
Video: Weather permitting; Links will be posted on the baseball schedule page: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2018-19/schedule
Live Stats (both games): https://gopresidents.com/sidearmstats/baseball/summary
Saturday, March 2 vs. Allegheny
Video (both games): https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/live
Live Stats (Game 1): https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2018-19/boxscores/20190302_0jcf.xml
Live Stats (Game 2): https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2018-19/boxscores/20190302_6203.xml
The Spartans will be looking to bounce back from a season-opening three game sweep at Spalding last weekend, including a pair of one-run losses and a two-run setback. CWRU pitched to a 2.10 earned run average and held Spalding to a .180 batting average over the three games, but the Spartans managed to hit just .188 with just 2.3 runs scored per game. CWRU senior third baseman Jacob Kucia led the team with a .300 average, while on the mound, sophomore Matt Levine (1.08 ERA), freshman Nick Denove (2.57 ERA) and senior Mark Gross (3.00 ERA) each made solid starts for CWRU.
The Spartans are led by Head Coach Matt Englander, who is now in his 13th season with the team and has a career record of 287-216-2, good for a .570 winning percentage. CWRU has won at least 24 games each of the last nine seasons, and has made the NCAA Tournament three times and won three UAA Championships under Englander. He is assisted by Nick Callahan, Branden Stucky and Jake Plata.
WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON PRESIDENTS
Just two years removed from a runner-up finish at the NCAA Division III Championships in 2017, the Presidents will be opening their 2019 campaign against the Spartans, after finishing 28-16-1 last season. Top returners for the team including senior infielder Mullen Socha (.375, 6 HR, 32 RBI), junior pitcher Ben Marsico (5-3, 3.34 ERA), senior outfielder Dante Dalesandro (.297, 1 HR, 30 RBI), senior pitcher Clay Martin (1-0, 0.98 ERA), and senior shortstop Spencer Howell (.338, 5 HR, 23 RBI). As a team, the Presidents hit .299 and averaged 6.7 runs per game last season, while pitching to a 3.23 ERA with a .265 opponents' batting average.
The Presidents are coached by Jeff Mountain, who is in his 17th year with the team and has a career record of 455-247-2. He is assisted by Nic Rush, Ryan Verlihay, Tony Pascarella and Rick Bubash.
CWRU split a pair of road games against Washington & Jefferson last year, winning the first game 7-2 in extra inning and falling 8-2 in the second contest. Mark Gross pitched eight innings of one-run baseball in the win, while senior second baseman Rocco Maue was three-for-four at the plate, and senior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski had a three-run triple in extra innings. Maue also added two hits in last year's loss to the Presidents. The Spartans have won five of the last eight meetings with Washington & Jefferson.
Allegheny opened its season with a 0-3 record, losing all three games of their neutral-site series against John Carroll last weekend. The Gators, who went 17-21 last season, have hit .257 and scored 5.0 runs per game this year, while pitching to a 12.96 earned run average with a .426 opponents' batting average. Freshman shortstop Jacob Budnar leads the team with a .444 batting average, and senior catcher/ infielder Tommy Cannon has hit .273 with two home runs and four RBIs, while junior pitcher Sean Kealey is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA.
Allegheny is under the leadership of Head Coach Brandon Crum, who is now in his second year with the team. He is assisted by Mike Victory & Darryl Jones.
CWRU has won five-straight games against Allegheny (dating back to the 2015 season) and seven of the last eight meetings. The Spartans won a pair of games against the Gators last year, claiming a 6-2 win in the first contest and a 4-3 victory in the second game. In the opening affair, senior Corey Brown pitched five shutout innings out of the bullpen, and Maue went three-for-five with a double, while Kucia was two-for-four in the second game, and junior Scott Kutschke recorded five shutout innings of relief work.
- Matt Levine was named the University Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week, after allowing just one earned run on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts against Spalding last Sunday. He left the game with a one-run lead in the ninth, but ultimately received a no-decision in the extra inning loss. It was his third career UAA Pitcher of the Week honor.
- CWRU went 10-0 last season when scoring 10 runs or more in a game, and has won 66-straight games when scoring 10 runs or more, dating back to April 17, 2011.
- The Spartans' pitching staff currently ranks 24th among Division III teams in earned run average, and eight with a 0.94 WHIP. The group's 5.61 hits allowed per nine innings is the 14th-lowest mark among Division III teams through the early part of the season.
- Nick Denove is 20th among DIII pitchers with a 7.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 24th with a 0.57 WHIP.
- Sophomore designated hitter Tre Armstrong hit the first home run of his career against Spalding, leading off the top of the ninth inning of the first game of the series with an opposite-field shot. Armstrong missed most of the 2018 campaign due to injury.
- Jacob Kucia and sophomore shortstop Jacob Lott each hit safely during all three games of the Spartans' season-opening series. Lott now has a seven-game hitting streak dating back to last season, the longest of his career.