Spartans Open Series at NYU with Doubleheader Sweep

Spartans Open Series at NYU with Doubleheader Sweep

Case Western Reserve University opened its series at New York University on a high note, as the Spartans overcame a one-run deficit to defeat the Violets 6-5 in the opening game of the doubleheader, and rolled to a 6-0 win in the second contest of the day at MCU Park in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday.

The Spartans picked up their first two University Athletic Association wins of the year with the sweep, improving to 2-2 in the league and to 15-8 overall.  NYU fell to 13-5 with the pair of losses, and dropped to 0-2 in league play.

Case Western Reserve swatted 21 hits over the course of the two games, including the first career home runs for both freshman outfielder Cole Jarrett and junior outfielder Noah Mehrle.  Mehrle was five-for-seven over the two games, scoring four runs and driving in three to pace the Spartans' offense.  Both CWRU starting pitchers on Saturday – sophomore righty Matt Levine and freshman left-handed pitcher Nick Denove – went at least eight innings and picked up victories, including the first career shutout for Denove in the second game.

Game 1: CWRU 6, NYU 5
Jarrett hit his first career home run to tie the game in the top of the ninth, and senior second baseman Rocco Maue followed with a go-ahead RBI single later in the frame, as the Spartans picked up a 6-5 win in their final at bat in the opening game of the series.

The Spartans took the early lead in the game on Saturday, opening up a two-run lead in the first inning on RBI singles by senior third baseman Jacob Kucia and junior first baseman Casey McConihe.  After NYU scored a run in the bottom of the first off Levine, the Spartans added two more on in the second inning, scoring on an RBI single by Maue and an error later in the inning that allowed Maue to cross the plate.

However, NYU cut into the Spartans lead with a two-run double by Ryan McLaughlin in the bottom of the second, trimming the advantage to 4-3.  After the fast start to the game, both offenses cooled off, with the score remaining 4-3 until the seventh, when Jack Elias drove in the game-tying run for the Violets with a base hit.  In the bottom of the eighth, NYU took its first lead of the game on a two-out RBI single by Zane Baker.

Down 5-4 heading into their final at bat, Jarrett led off the inning and launched a 0-1 pitch over the wall in left field, picking an opportune moment for his first career home run, and knotting the score at 5-5.  Mehrle followed with a single, and a base hit by junior center fielder Samuel Neal put runners on the corners with nobody out.  After a strikeout for the first out of the inning, Maue chopped a ball over the head of the NYU third baseman, driving in Mehrle for the eventual game-winning run.

Junior southpaw Scott Kutschke entered the game and retired the side in order in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

Levine earned the win in the game, improving to 3-2 on the year with a 2.37 ERA.  He allowed five runs on eight hits during his eight innings of work, while walking one and striking out four.

The Spartans outhit the Violets 11-8 in the game, including a three-for-five game with a double, a run and an RBI for Kucia.  Maue was two-for-four with two runs and two RBIs, and Mehrle added a two-for-four game at the play, scoring a pair of runs, including the go-ahead run in the ninth.

Joseph Prisco earned the loss after allowing both runs in the ninth, dropping to 0-2 on the campaign.

Game 2: CWRU 6, NYU 0
Nick Denove threw the first complete-game shutout by a Spartan pitcher this season, and Mehrle went three-for-three with three RBIs and a home run, as CWRU completed the sweep of the doubleheader with a 6-0 win over the Violets in game two.

Denove improved to 4-2 overall on the season, while throwing his third-consecutive complete game.  It was the first complete game shutout by a Spartan pitcher since Levine threw all nine in a 4-0 win over Emory on April 1, 2018.

It was the third shutout by Spartan pitching overall this season, including wins of 9-0 over Oglethorpe on March 10th and 19-0 over Fredonia State on March 23rd.  Each of the previous shutouts were started by Levine.

Denove allowed just five hits and two walks over his nine innings of work, and was able to navigate through the Violets' order unscored upon despite not striking out a batter.  He improved to 4-2 during his freshman campaign, and lowered his season ERA to 2.27 with Saturday's effort.

The Spartans opened the scoring in the second game, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when sophomore designated hitter Benjamin Stawicki led the frame off with a base hit and scored a batter later on a double to left field by McConihe.  A one-out base hit by Mehrle later in the inning scored McConihe to extend the lead to 2-0.

Mehrle added to the Spartans' lead with his first career home run to lead off the top of the fifth, putting sending a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left field to give CWRU 3-0 advantage.  Mehrle struck again in the seventh, driving in McConihe from third on a base hit for his third RBI of the game to increase the team's lead to four runs.  A wild pitch with two outs scored Jarrett later in the inning, and Maue capped off the three-run frame with a single that scored Mehrle, and put the Spartans up 6-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Denove allowed just one runner to reach third the entire game, and finished the game with a flourish, wrapping up his 91-pitch effort by retiring the side in order in the ninth.

In addition to Mehrle's three-hit game, McConihe added a two-for-four performance with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.

NYU starter Gabriel Golob allowed all six of the CWRU runs and was saddled with his first loss of the campaign, dropping to 4-1 on the year with the setback.