The Case Western Reserve University baseball team swept a doubleheader against St. John Fisher College on Sunday afternoon, winning the first game 5-4 in seven innings on a walk-off base hit by freshman outfielder Cole Jarrett, and claiming a 7-2 win in the late game at Nobby's Ballpark in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Spartans have now won six-straight games and eight of their last nine to improve to 12-6 overall, including a 6-0 mark at Nobby's Ballpark this season. St. John Fisher, which received votes in the latest D3baseball.com Top-25 poll, dropped to 8-5 on the season with the two losses.
Game 1: CWRU 5, St. John Fisher 4 (7 innings)
The Spartans overcame a one-run deficit heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but tied the game on a one-out RBI double by sophomore outfielder Jake Ryan, and claimed a victory two batters later on a bases-loaded walk-off single by Jarrett, defeating the Cardinals 5-4.
The Spartans trailed 4-3 heading into the final inning of the game, but a one-out triple by sophomore shortstop Jacob Lott put the potential game-tying run at third base. After senior second baseman Rocco Maue was hit by a pitch, Ryan followed with a double to left field, scoring Lott to tie the game, and putting the game winning run at third base. Senior third baseman Jacob Kucia was walked to intentionally load the bases, and Jarrett followed with a looping single down the left field line, scoring Maue easily and giving the Spartans their first walk-off win of the season.
Maue got the Spartans off to an early lead in the game, leading off the bottom of the first with a solo home run, his third in as many days and team-leading fourth of the season. CWRU added on two more runs in the second, scoring a pair on a single by Lott with runners on second and third and one away in the frame.
CWRU freshman starting pitcher Nick Denove held the Cardinals scoreless through the first three innings, but a two-run home run by Allen Murphy in the fourth cut the Spartans' lead to a run, 3-2. In the fifth, St. John Fisher evened the score on an RBI double by Thomas Pasquale, and took its first lead of the game on an RBI groundout from Antony Mantova.
The score remained 4-3 until the bottom of the seventh, as Denove struck out the side in the sixth, and then worked around a one-out hit to pitch a scoreless seventh, keeping the deficit at a run, and setting up the Spartans' seventh-inning rally for the win.
Denove pitched all seven innings for the first complete game of his career, allowing just six hits and two walks, while striking out six batters in a 121-pitch effort. He picked up the win in the game, improving to 3-1 with a 3.03 earned run average for the season.
The Spartans' out-hit the Cardinals 9-6 in the game, with Maue going two-for-two with two runs, a home run and an RBI, junior outfielder Samuel Neal adding a two-for-three game with a double and a run, and Lott notching a two-for-three game with a triple, a run and two RBIs, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
RJ Kuruts suffered the complete-game loss for the Cardinals, dropping to 1-2 on the season.
Game 2: CWRU 7, St. John Fisher 2
Unlike the early game, the Spartans jumped out to an early lead and held on for the length of the contest, completing the sweep with a 7-2 win over St. John Fisher in the second game of the day.
Making his third start of the season, freshman Willem Bouma allowed just a pair of runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out a pair over six innings of work to claim the victory. He improved to 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA following his effort on Sunday.
Senior southpaw Corey Brown pitched the final three innings, holding the Cardinals scoreless on a pair of hits with two strikeouts to earn his third save of the campaign.
Neal got the Spartans on the board in the second inning with a two-RBI double, and after the Cardinals answered with a run in the top of the third, an RBI groundout by junior first baseman Casey McConihe extended the team's lead to 3-1. CWRU added another run in the fifth on a run-scoring single by senior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski, but St. John Fisher trimmed the lead back to two runs with a run off Bouma in the top of the sixth.
CWRU increased its lead late, with a sacrifice fly by Maue and a wild pitch later in the seventh making it a 6-2 lead for the Spartans, and an RBI single by McConihe in the eighth extending the advantage to 7-2, before Brown was able to work around a leadoff hit and close out the win in the ninth.
McConihe finished the game three-for-five with two RBIs and a run, and Wypiszenski added a three-for-five day at the plate with two runs and an RBI. Kucia also added a pair of hits, raising his average to a team-leading .418.
Starter Matthew Raudelunas suffered the loss for the Cardinals, dropping to 1-1 for the campaign.
Case Western Reserve will now turn its attention to the start of University Athletic Association play, opening up its conference schedule next weekend with a key four-game series against Washington University (Mo.) at Nobby's Ballpark. The Spartans and the Bears will open their series on Friday, March 29th at 3:00 p.m. in Cleveland.