CWRU Baseball Defeats NYU Twice on Sunday to Complete Four-Game Sweep

CWRU Baseball Defeats NYU Twice on Sunday to Complete Four-Game Sweep

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team swept a doubleheader against New York University for the second-straight day on Sunday, winning 3-1 in 11 innings in the early game and 5-3 in the second contest on Sunday, completing a four-game sweep of the Violets in a University Athletic Association series at MCU Park in Brooklyn, New York.

The Spartans have now won five-straight games, and improved to 17-8 overall, including a 4-2 mark in the UAA this season.  NYU, which entered the weekend with just three losses total, dropped to 13-7 overall and to 0-4 in conference play.

The sweep marked the first the Spartans have recorded against NYU in the three years of site play in the UAA, after winning three-of-four games each of the last two seasons.  It marked the third time in the last three years that CWRU has swept a four-game UAA series, after taking all four against Brandeis in both 2017 and 2018.

CWRU's bullpen was one of the highlights for the Spartans on Sunday, as four different pitchers combined over the two games to hold the Violets to just one run on three hits and three walks over 13 innings of work.

Game 1: CWRU 3, NYU 1 (11 inning)
Case Western Reserve sophomore right-handed pitcher Tony Smodilla pitched six-and-a-third innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball out of the bullpen, and senior outfielder Jacob Pestel delivered the go-ahead RBI single in extra innings, as the Spartans picked up a 3-1 win over NYU in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader.

Despite a no-decision in the game, Smodilla was masterful out of the bullpen for the Spartans, throwing 79 pitches and keeping the game tied with the shutout relief effort.  In addition to the one hit, he allowed just a pair of walks, and struck out two batters in the game.

As a whole, the Spartans' three pitchers – freshman right-handed starter Willem Bouma, Smodilla, and senior left-handed pitcher Corey Brown – restricted NYU to just five hits in the game.

The Violets took the early lead in the game, scoring a run against Bouma in the first on a one-out RBI single by Coleman Hendershot.  However, Bouma settled in, keeping NYU scoreless over the next two innings, including the third, where he escaped a jam with one out and two runners in scoring position with a line out and a ground out to senior third baseman Jacob Kucia.

Sophomore catcher Jake Ryan evened the score in the bottom of the third with a two-out solo home run, his team-lead tying fourth of the year.  Ryan fouled off four pitches in the at bat against NYU starter Sal Cammusuli, before sending a 1-2 offering over the wall in left field.

Smodilla came into the game in relief of Bouma with nobody out and a runner on first in the fourth, and retired the next three batters to get through the inning.  Smodilla went on to sit down the first nine batters he faced in the game in order, including seven with groundouts.  In the bottom of the seventh, he worked around a first-and-third situation with one out, getting a strikeout and a fly out to end the NYU scoring threat and keep the game knotted at 1-1.

Smodilla would retire the side in order in the eighth and ninth innings, but CWRU would be unable to score a run of their own, as the game went into extra innings.  After the Spartans were retired in order in the top half of the 10th, Smodilla allowed a walk and a hit batter with one out, putting the potential game-winning run into scoring position for the Violets.  Brown entered the game with a 2-0 count on the NYU batter, and issued the walk to load the bases for the Violets, still with one out.  However, Brown induced a pop out for the second out of the inning, and retired the side on a line drive to right field to escape the jam and leave the bases loaded.

Senior second baseman Rocco Maue led off the 11th with a base hit to center, and an error by the NYU shortstop put Ryan on at first and moved Maue to second.  After a sacrifice bunt by Kucia put two men in scoring position, Pestel delivered a base hit to left, scoring Maue and giving the Spartans their first lead of the game, 2-1.  Junior designated hitter Casey McConihe followed with a sacrifice fly to score Ryan, and put CWRU in front by two.

Brown worked around a leadoff single in the bottom of the 11th, sitting down the next three batters on two groundouts and a fly out to wrap-up the victory.

Maue was two-for-five in the game with a stolen base, while McConihe went two-for-three in the contest with a walk and an RBI.  Ryan added a two-for-three day with a walk as well, including the solo home run, and scored two of the team's three runs.

Brown earned the win in the game, improving to 1-1 on the year, while NYU reliever Paul Gadaleta allowed both runs in the 11th, his first runs allowed this season, to suffer the loss and drop to 0-1 for the campaign.

Game 2: CWRU 5, NYU 3
A four-run second inning and a solo home run in the eighth by Kucia proved to be all the offense the Spartans would need in the second game of the day, as Case Western Reserve completed the four-game sweep of the Violets with a 5-3 win.

NYU scored early again in the second game, putting a first-inning run on the board with a two-out RBI single by Jack Elias against McConihe, the game two starter for the Spartans.

CWRU responded in the top of the second inning, loading the bases with nobody out without a hit, as junior first baseman Noah Mehrle was hit by a pitch to start the inning, junior outfielder Samuel Neal walked on four pitches, and Pestel was hit by a pitch.  CWRU evened the score on a catcher's interference call that allowed freshman outfielder Cole Jarrett to reach base and scored Mehrle.  Two batters later, Maue delivered a two-run single to give CWRU the lead, and a sacrifice fly by Ryan put the Spartans ahead 4-1 after an inning and a half.

McConihe would limit NYU to one more run over the next three innings, and would turn the game over to junior righty Paul Slota in the fifth with a 4-2 lead.  Slota pitched a scoreless fifth, before junior lefty Scott Kutschke took over to start the sixth, retiring the side in order in the both the sixth and seventh innings.

Kucia added to the Spartans lead with a solo home run to left field in the eighth inning, his first of the season, putting CWRU in front by three runs.  Kutschke allowed a solo home run to Coleman Hendershot in the eighth, but would go on to pitch a one-two-three ninth to pick up his second save of the year, both coming in the last two days.

Slota earned the win in relief, improving to 1-0 on the campaign.  Six different CWRU players each had one hit in the game, including Maue, who was one-for-four with two RBIs and a stolen base.

NYU starter Tim Salvadore allowed all four runs in the second inning, and lasted just an inning and a third in the game, taking the loss to drop to 0-1 on the year.

The Spartans will continue their 10-game road trip with a four-game series at UAA rival Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia next weekend.  The series will open up on Friday, April 12th at 3:00 p.m.