Spartans Down Student Princes 8-1 on Saturday

Nick Denove pitching for the Spartans

Case Western Reserve University freshman Nick Denove carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and senior outfielder Jacob Pestel and sophomore shortstop Jacob Lott each drove in a pair of runs, as the Spartans picked up an 8-1 win over Heidelberg University at Nobby's Ballpark in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday.

The win was the second-straight against an opponent either nationally ranked or receiving votes for the Spartans, who improved to 20-11 overall.  Heidelberg dropped to 22-10 with the setback.

Denove pitched six innings on Saturday, allowing just three hits and one run in the game, striking out six batters and walking just one.  He held the Student Princes without a hit until surrendering a two-out bunt single in the top of the fifth, and ended his day after throwing just 79 pitched by working around a bases-loaded one-out jam in the top of the sixth.  Denove earned the win in the game to improve to 5-2 overall, while dropping his ERA to 2.44 with the effort.

The Spartans' offense got off to a quick start, scoring four runs in the opening inning of Heidelberg starter Mac Spears.  A two-out infield hit by sophomore designated hitter Benjamin Stawicki started the scoring, scoring junior outfielder Samuel Neal.  Senior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and junior Casey McConihe and Pestel each drew a walk to extend the lead to 2-0.  Lott capped off the scoring in the first with an RBI single, as the Spartans sent 10 batters to the plate during the inning.

Run scoring singles by Lott and sophomore outfielder Jake Ryan in the sixth inning put the Spartans' ahead 6-1, and in the seventh inning, senior third baseman Jacob Kucia tripled to start the frame and scored on a wild pitch.  Pestel added a run on a sacrifice fly, scoring Wypiszenski and giving CWRU an 8-1 advantage.

Junior southpaw Scott Kutschke pitched the final three innings of the game, scattering four hits and striking out three batters, while holding the Student Princes scoreless to record his team-leading fourth save of the campaign, and lower his ERA to 0.51 through 11 appearances and 35.1 innings of work.

The Spartans outhit Heidelberg 15-7 in the game, including three-for-five days for both Kucia and senior second baseman Rocco Maue.  Lott went two-for-three with a run, a walk and two RBIs, McConihe was two-for-four with a run, a walk, a stolen base and an RBI, and Neal ended the day two-for-four with a run scored.

Spears suffered the loss for Heidelberg, dropping to 1-1 on the campaign.

A game against Wooster, originally scheduled for Sunday, April 21st, has been postponed with no makeup date scheduled at the moment.  The Spartans are now slated to return to action on Friday, April 26th at 3:00 p.m., when the team opens a four-game University Athletic Association series against Brandeis University at Nobby's Ballpark.