Seven members of the Case Western Reserve University baseball team were selected to the 2019 All-University Athletic Association Teams, as voted on by the conference coaches and announced by the league office on Wednesday afternoon.
Three Spartans were named to the All-UAA First Team, including senior third baseman Jacob Kucia (Strongsville, Ohio / St. Ignatius), senior second baseman Rocco Maue (Moon Township, Pa. / Moon Area) and sophomore outfielder/ catcher Jake Ryan (Chatham, Ill. / Glenwood). Four additional players earned All-UAA Second Team honors, including freshman pitcher Nick Denove (Naples, Fla. / Barron Collier), junior pitcher Scott Kutschke (Morton Grove, Ill. / Notre Dame Prep), junior first baseman/ pitcher Casey McConihe (Amherst, Ohio / Amherst Steele) and senior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski (Lemont, Ill. / Neuqua Valley).
It was the second-straight year that Maue has been named to the All-UAA First Team, while Wypiszenski claimed All-UAA honors for the second time in his career (he was also selected to the second team in 2017 as a sophomore). Kucia, Ryan, Denove, Kutschke and McConihe each secured the first All-UAA honors of their career.
The seven CWRU selections marked the most from any of the five teams in the UAA, while the Spartans' three first team selections were tied for the league high. It was the most total selections of CWRU players to the All-UAA team in program history.
Kucia finished the 2019 season batting .390, the fourth-best mark among league players during the year. He collected 53 hits in 136 at bats, including nine doubles, six triples and a home run. He drove in 25 runs and scored 32 (tying him for the team lead), while also walking a team-high 20 times to raise his on base percentage to .500 for the campaign. Kucia also stole eight bases on 10 attempts, and fielded .952 for the year, committing just six errors at third base. He batted .327 over the team's 14 conference games, with two doubles, three triples a home run and eight RBIs.
Maue hit .345 (49-for-142) during the year with six doubles, four triples, and four home runs. He finished the regular season tied for the team lead with 32 runs scored, and was second among all Spartan players with 34 RBIs. In addition, he stole 16 bases on 19 attempts, and recorded a .983 fielding percentage with just three errors at second base. Maue led all Spartan players with a .345 batting average, 12 RBIs, 20 hits and eight stolen bases in UAA play. He was selected to the D3baseball.com Team of the Week and named the UAA Hitter of the Week on March 26th.
Ryan had a breakout season as a sophomore, hitting .362 overall and connecting on 26 extra base hits in 35 games, including a UAA-best eight home runs. He also led the team with 54 hits, 15 doubles, 38 RBIs and a .664 slugging percentage, while finishing second on the squad with 31 runs scored. Ryan started all 14 UAA games for CWRU, batting .321 with six doubles, two home runs, 10 RBIs and 10 runs scored. He was selected to the D3baseball.com Team of the Week and named the UAA Hitter of the Week on April 22nd.
Denove made an immediate impact on the Spartans' rotation during his freshman season, leading all CWRU starting pitchers with a 6-2 record and a 2.12 earned run average over his 10 starts. He also notched team highs with 68.0 innings pitched and 42 strikeouts, while holding opposing hitters to a .214 batting average. Denove raised his level of play during conference competition, making four starts against UAA opponents and going 2-1 with a 1.39 ERA, including three complete games and two shutouts. He was named the NCBWA Division III Rookie of the Week on April 10th, and was selected as the UAA Pitcher of the Week twice.
Kutschke has made 12 appearances out of the bullpen this season, going 4-0 with four saves and a 1.00 ERA, the fourth-lowest mark among Division III pitchers this year. He is also ranked second among all Division III players with a 0.78 WHIP, 11th with an 8.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 18th with 1.00 walks per nine innings, and 34th with 6.00 hits allowed per nine innings. In 36.0 innings of work, he has held opponents' to a .186 batting average and struck out 34 batters, while walking just four. Kutschke recorded three saves with a 2.89 ERA and gave up just two hits in nine and a third innings (a 0.71 opponents' batting average) over four UAA appearances. He was named a relief pitcher on the D3baseball.com Team of the Week on March 5th.
McConihe saw time at first base and on the mound during his junior season, ending the regular season with a .298 batting average, one home run and 13 RBIs, while pitching to a 2-2 record with a 7.20 ERA. He started 12 UAA games in the field, batting .261 (12-for-46) with two doubles, three RBIs, four runs scored and two stolen bases on as many tries. McConihe also made three UAA starts on the mound, going 1-0 with a 5.27 ERA.
Wypiszenski started 27 games at catcher during the year, hitting .284 with two home runs and 20 RBIs. He collected 29 hits in 102 at bats, scoring 20 runs and driving in 20, while also collecting eight doubles and a triple and stealing four bases on as many tries. He was also stellar defensively, recording a .973 fielding percentage and throwing out 12 of 30 would-be base stealers. Wypiszenski raised his batting average to .360 during his seven UAA starts, going nine-for-25 with two doubles and driving in nine runs.
The Spartans finished the 2019 regular season with an overall record of 22-13, including a 7-7 mark in UAA games. CWRU was ranked third in the latest NCAA Division III regional rankings and received votes in each of the D3baseball.com and ABCA polls released this week, and will now await the selection of the field for the 2019 NCAA Division III Championships on Monday, May 13th at noon on ncaa.com.