The Case Western Reserve University baseball team will face non-conference opponent Heidelberg University on Saturday, April 20th at 1:00 p.m. in Tiffin, Ohio.
The Spartans are also currently scheduled to play at home against Wooster on Sunday, but the game is likely to be postponed due to conference scheduling conflicts for the Fighting Scots. Check back at athletics.case.edu for any schedule changes as they are made available.
Fans can follow the Spartans' game against Heidelberg with video at https://boxcast.tv/view/baseball-vs-case-western-131578 and live statistics at https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2018-19/boxscores/20190420_to6v.xml.
Case Western Reserve will look to continue a strong finish to its 2019 season, as the team aims for a bid to the NCAA Tournament field. The Spartans stand at 19-11 overall, including an 8-6 road record, following a 21-10 win at the College of Wooster (ranked 11th in DIII) on Thursday afternoon. CWRU is batting .303 as a team and has scored 7.3 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a 3.48 ERA with a .250 opponents' batting average. Senior third baseman Jacob Kucia leads the team with a .365 batting average, while sophomore outfielder/ catcher Jake Ryan has hit .362 with a team-leading eight home runs (among his 24 extra base hits) and 31 RBIs. Top starting pitchers include freshman Nick Denove (4-2, 2.55 ERA) and sophomore Matt Levine (5-2, 2.72 ERA), while junior Scott Kutschke has been the top pitcher out of the Spartans' bullpen with a 4-0 record, a 0.56 ERA and three saves.
Now in his 13th season with the team, CWRU Head Coach Matt Englander has a career record of 306-224-2, good for a .577 winning percentage. CWRU has won at least 24 games each of the last nine seasons, and has made the NCAA Tournament four times and won three UAA Championships under Englander. He is assisted by Nick Callahan, Branden Stucky and Jake Plata.
HEIDELBERG STUDENT PRINCES
Heidelberg has received votes in the most recent D3baseball.com and ABCA polls, and stands at 22-9 overall, including an 8-4 mark at home this season. The team has won three-straight games and six of its last seven, including a doubleheader sweep of Muskingum on Thursday. The Student Princes have hit .323 overall and are averaging 8.0 runs per game, while pitching to a 4.31 team ERA with a .265 opponents' batting average. Heidelberg has been paced offensively by junior infielder Kyle Jenkins (.360, 3 HRs, 33 RBIs), senior outfielder Matt Psychas (.383, 5 HRs, 30 RBIs) and junior catcher Marc Ochoa (.336, 6 HRs, 29 RBIs). Top starting pitchers include senior Alex Sir Louis (6-1, 2.95 ERA), junior Trevor Adkins (3-4, 6.04 ERA), and freshman Alex Zoeller (1-1, 5.75 ERA), while the bullpen features freshman Brady Knizner (2-1, 1 save, 1.72 ERA), junior Tristan Phillips (4-0, 3.30 ERA) and senior Joey Wenning (6.43 ERA, 8 saves).
Heidelberg is under the leadership of Head Coach Chad Fitzgerald. A 2007 graduate of Seton Hill, he is now in his fifth season with the team, and has guided the Student Princes to a 121-75 overall record. Fitzgerald is assisted by Pat Christopher, Timothy Cronin, Adam Ferita, Keith Theis and Brock Conner.
Saturday's game will be the first meeting between the two teams since the 2016 season, when the squads split a pair of games against each other at a neutral site in Chillicothe, Ohio. After losing the first game 3-2, the Spartans battled back for an 11-5 win in the second contest. Then freshmen, Rocco Maue finished the series two-for-seven with two runs, two walks and two stolen bases, while Jacob Kucia was two-for-four with a double and two RBI. In addition, Mark Gross (making just the second start of his career) yielded just two earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts over six innings of work against the Student Princes.
- With Thursday's win over Wooster, CWRU improved to 6-0 this season when scoring 10 runs or more in a game, and has won 72-straight games when scoring 10 runs or more, dating back to April 17, 2011.
- Case Western Reserve ranks seventh in Division III in strength of schedule. The measure, which includes both opponents' winning percentage and opponents' opponents' winning percentage, is one of the criteria used to determine at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.
- Jake Ryan went four-for-four against Wooster with three home runs. It was the first three home run game by a Spartan player since Rocco Maue hit three against Roger Williams during the 2018 campaign. Ryan now has eight home runs this season, tied for the third-most in program history. He is one home run away from Steve Rosiek (1986) for the second-most in school history, and three away from matching Maue's single-season record, set last year.
- Ryan has also recorded 13 doubles this year, tied for the 15th-highest single season total in program history.
- The Spartans hit six home runs as a team during the win over Wooster. In addition to Ryan's three, senior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski hit his second of the season, junior first baseman Casey McConihe connected on a grand slam for his first of the year, and sophomore designated hitter Benjamin Stawicki hit his first career home run.
- The 21 runs scored by the Spartans on Thursday were the most by the team in a game since a 21-0 win against Westminster on April 5, 2014.