Baseball Returns to UAA Play with Home Series vs. Brandeis; Senior Day Saturday

Baseball Returns to UAA Play with Home Series vs. Brandeis; Senior Day Saturday

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team will conclude its conference schedule this weekend with a four-game series against Brandeis University at Nobby's Ballpark in Cleveland, Ohio.  The series is slated to begin on Friday, April 26th with a single game at 3:00 p.m., followed by a doubleheader on Saturday, April 27th at 12:00 p.m., and wrapping up with a single game on Sunday, April 28th at 11:00 a.m.  Saturday will also mark 'Senior Day' for the Spartans, as the team will recognize the six graduating members of its 2019 senior class.

LIVE COVERAGE
Video: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/live
Game 1 Live Stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2018-19/boxscores/20190426_k1ee.xml
Game 2 Live Stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2018-19/boxscores/20190427_vv9l.xml
Game 3 Live Stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2018-19/boxscores/20190427_sh4e.xml
Game 4 Live Stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2018-19/boxscores/20190428_mv1y.xml

SENIOR DAY
Prior to the first game on Saturday, the team will have a special 'Senior Day' ceremony, recognizing the team's six graduating senior players – pitchers Corey Brown and Mark Gross, third baseman Jacob Kucia, second baseman Rocco Maue, outfielder Jacob Pestel, and catcher Tyler Wypiszenski.  Together, the six players have been one of the most successful classes in the program's history, recording a 99-52 record, good for a .656 winning percentage.  Included in their overall record is a 33-17 mark (.660) in UAA games, while the team claimed the conference title in 2018.  The senior class also helped pace the Spartans to an NCAA Tournament berth during the 2016 campaign.

CWRU SPARTANS
Case Western Reserve University, which received votes in the latest ABCA/ Collegiate Baseball Rankings, will enter the series with a 20-11 overall record, following a pair of wins last week against then 11th-ranked Wooster and Heidelberg.  CWRU sits in third place in the UAA with a 5-5 conference record, and could potentially finish as high as second in the league, with Emory currently sitting at 7-5 in UAA play with a four-game series at NYU this weekend.  The Spartans, who are 8-2 at home this season, have hit .307 as a team and averaged 7.4 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a 3.40 combined ERA with a .249 opponents' batting average.  The team's top hitters this season include Jacob Kucia (.375, 1 HR, 23 RBI), sophomore outfielder/ catcher Jake Ryan (.356, 8 HRs, 32 RBI), Rocco Maue (.330, 4 HRs, 27 RBI), sophomore outfielder Benjamin Stawicki (.330, 1 HR, 20 RBI) and junior outfielder Samuel Neal (.323, 3 HRs, 19 RBI).  The rotation includes sophomore righty Matt Levine (5-2, 2.72 ERA), freshman lefty Nick Denove (5-2, 2.44 ERA), freshman right Willem Bouma (3-1, 4.39 ERA) and junior lefty Casey McConihe (1-2, 7.20 ERA).  Top options out of the bullpen include junior lefty Scott Kutschke (4-0, 0.51 ERA, 4 saves), junior righty Paul Slota (1-1, 2.45 ERA) and senior lefty Corey Brown (1-2, 3.00 ERA, 3 saves).

Now in his 13th season with the team, CWRU Head Coach Matt Englander has a career record of 308-224-2, good for a .579 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.

BRANDEIS JUDGES
Brandeis will enter the weekend with a 13-17 overall record, including a 1-11 mark in UAA games, and a 4-9 ledger in road contests.  The Judges dropped three of four games at home against New York University last weekend, but claimed their first conference win of the season with an 8-3 victory in the final game of the series.  The team is batting .291 and averaging 7.3 runs per game, while the pitching staff has notched a 7.07 earned run average and allowed a .319 opponents' batting average.  Sophomore infielder Mike Khoury leads the team with a .383 batting average, seven home runs and 37 runs batted in, while sophomore outfielder Dan Frey has added a .343 average with three home runs and 33 RBIs, sophomore infielder Isaac Fossas has hit .296 with four home runs and 29 RBIs, and junior Victor Oppenheimer is hitting .285 with three home runs and 21 RBIs.  The Judges' rotation consists of junior lefty Greg Tobin (3-3, 4.12 ERA), junior lefty Kyle Shedden (0-1, 3.98 ERA), sophomore right Mason Newman (2-4, 5.40 ERA) and freshman lefty Cam Roberts (3-2, 6.21 ERA), while top bullpen options for Brandeis this year have included sophomore righty Rick Jhamb (1-1, 0.77 ERA), freshman lefty Marc Maestri (0-0, 4.41, 2 saves), senior righty Daniel Schupper (0-0, 5.27 ERA), and freshman righty Gavin Dauer (1-2, 10.00 ERA).

The Judges are coached by Derek Carlson, who is now in his third season with the team, and has a record of 41-80-1 during his time at the helm of the squad.  The 1991 graduate of the program is 302-347-3 during his 17-year career as a head coach, which includes a 13-year stretch at Roger Williams.  Carlson is assisted by Chris Morris and Peter Allain.

MATCHUP HISTORY
Last year, the Spartans swept the four-game series against the Judges in Waltham, Massachusetts.  Sophomore shortstop Jacob Lott hit .400 (six-of-15) against the Judges last season, including a double and two home runs, while driving in six runs, scoring six more and stealing three bases during the series.  Rocco Maue added a .350 batting average during the series with two doubles and two home runs, while Casey McConihe, senior Mark Gross and Matt Levine each started and won games for CWRU over the four games.

CWRU will carry a 10-game winning against Brandeis into this weekend's series, including an 8-0 record over the first two years of site play, and have won 14 of their last 15 overall against the Judges.

SPARTAN NOTES

  • CWRU is 5-5 this season against teams either ranked or receiving votes in this week's ABCA/ Collegiate Baseball Poll.
  • As of Tuesday afternoon, the Spartans have the top-ranked strength of schedule in Division III.  The measure, which weighs both opponents' winning percentage (two-thirds) and opponents' opponents' winning percentage (one-third) is used as one of the primary criteria for selection of at-large bids to the NCAA Division III Championship field.  The Spartans' opponents' winning percentage of .6202 ranks as the fifth-toughest in all of Division III this season.
  • The Spartans are 32nd among Division III teams with a 3.40 team ERA this season.  CWRU is also 38th in Division III with 8.33 hits allowed per game and 33rd with a 1.29 WHIP.
  • Case Western Reserve is the best fielding team in the UAA and 10th among all Division III teams with a 0.971 fielding percentage.
  • The Spartans lead the UAA and are 27th among Division III teams with 25 home runs this year.  CWRU is 55th among DIII teams and leads the UAA with a .451 team slugging percentage.  The team has also been hit by 73 pitches this year, the fourth-most among Division III teams.
  • With last 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 has hit .345 as a team against left-handed pitching this season, collecting 88 hits in 255 at bats.
  • CWRU pitching has held opponents to a .139 average with the bases loaded this season.  Opposing hitters have just five hits in 38 at bats with the bases loaded in 2019.
  • Scott Kutschke leads all NCAA Division III pitchers this season with a 0.51 earned run average.  He is also third among DIII pitchers with a 0.76 WHIP, fifth with an 11.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and eighth with 0.76 walks allowed per nine innings.
  • Jake Ryan has hit safely in each of his last eight games, the longest hitting streak he has recorded this season, and tied for the third-longest hitting streak by a Spartan this season.  Ryan is also 30th among DIII players with eight home runs, and 48th with 13 doubles, leading all UAA hitters this season in both categories.  He was named the UAA Athlete of the Week and selected to the D3baseball.com Team of the Week after batting .556 with three home runs and a double over two games last week.  His three home run game against Wooster last Thursday matched a school record.
  • Rocco Maue leads the Spartans both with 14 multiple hit games and eight multiple RBI games this season.