The Case Western Reserve University baseball team wrapped up its four-game series with Roger Williams University on Thursday afternoon with an 8-4 win over the Hawks during the third day of competition at the Spartan Southern Classic at Lexington County Stadium in Lexington, South Carolina.
Junior centerfielder Samuel Neal hit his second home run in as many days and his team-leading third of the year, and junior southpaw Scott Kutschke pitched six scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win in the game.
The Spartans have won back-to-back games and six of their last eight contests to improve to 6-5 overall on the year, while Roger Williams dropped to 3-4 with the loss.
Roger Williams scored a run in the bottom of the first inning of CWRU freshman Keaton Stankowski, who made his first career start on Thursday. The Spartans answered back with two runs of their own in the top of the second, as both junior first baseman Noah Mehrle and freshman right fielder Cole Jarrett scored on a two-out single by sophomore shortstop Jacob Lott. The Hawks regained the lead in the bottom of the frame, scoring three runs to go ahead 4-2.
However, Stankowski kept Roger Williams off the board in the third, and the Spartans struck for four runs in the top of the fourth, tying the game with run-scoring singles by Neal and senior second baseman Rocco Maue, and taking a 6-4 lead on a two-run double by sophomore leftfielder Jake Ryan.
Kutschke entered the game to start the top of the fourth, and allowed just four hits and two walks over the next six shutout innings, striking out four batters, holding the two-run lead. The Spartans added on two runs in the eighth, scoring on a solo home run by Neal over the wall in right field, and a double by Ryan, to go ahead 8-4.
Kutschke would remain in the game and pitch scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth, earning the win to improve to 2-0 on the campaign, while lowering his ERA to 0.71.
The Spartans' offense churned out 11 hits in the contest, including a two-for-four day with two doubles and three RBIs for Ryan, and a two-for-four performance with two runs, two RBIs and a home run for Neal. Mehrle and Lott each had two hits in the game as well.
Starter Chris Flynn took the loss for Roger Williams, dropping to 0-1 on the campaign.
The Spartans will continue play at the Spartan Southern Classic in Lexington on Friday, March 15th, beginning a two-game stretch against Western New England. The first pitch for Friday's game has been moved up to 11:00 a.m., in anticipation of rain later in the day.