The Case Western Reserve University baseball team will be making the fifth NCAA Postseason appearance in program history this weekend, when the Spartans travel to the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio for the 2019 NCAA Division III Regionals from Friday, May 17th through Sunday, May 19th. CWRU, the second seeded team in the draw, will open play at the tournament on Friday at 1:30 PM at Art Murray Field against the third seeded Otterbein University Cardinals.
Joining the Spartans and the Cardinals in the regional pod will be the host and top-seeded College of Wooster, and the fourth-seeded University of Rochester. The regional tournament will be double elimination, with the winning team advancing to the super regional against the triumphant squad from the regional in Adrian, Michigan between Denison University, Heidelberg University, Adrian College and La Roche College.
The super regional round, scheduled for Friday, May 24th and Saturday, May 25th, will be a best of three series to be played on a campus of one of the two competing teams. The team advancing through the super regional will join the other seven winners at the 2019 NCAA Division III Finals in Cedar Rapids, Iowa from May 31st through June 5th.
Friday, May 17th
10:00 AM: Game 1 – Wooster (1) vs. Rochester (4)
1:30 PM: Game 2 – CWRU (2) vs. Otterbein (3)
Saturday, May 18th
8:30 AM: Game 3 – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
12:00 PM: Game 4 – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
3:30 PM: Game 5 – Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Sunday, May 19th
11:00 AM: Game 6 – Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5
Game 7 (if necessary, 45 minutes following Game 6) – Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6
The official website for the tournament is http://www.woosterathletics.com/sports/bsb/2018-19/NCAA/2019_Baseball_Regional. Live video is available for each game at https://portal.stretchinternet.com//wooster/. Fans can find live stats links for all of the Spartans' games on the team's schedule page at https://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2018-19/schedule or on the official tournament webpage.
ART MURRAY FIELD
Campus Address: 1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, OH 44691
Directions to Field: Going north on Beall Avenue, turn right at the stop light at Wayne Avenue, then turn right on Gasche Street, and parking lot access will be on the right adjacent to the baseball field.
Parking: Limited parking is available at Art Murray Field. Additional parking is available at the Wooster Inn (across the street from the field - 801 E. Wayne Ave., Wooster, Ohio 44691), street parking on E. Wayne Ave., or at John P. Papp Stadium on E. University St.
2019 Overall Record: 22-13 (.629)
Batting average/ Runs per game: .310/ 7.4
ERA/ Opponents' batting average: 3.46 / .251
Conference: University Athletic Association
How they made the tournament: Pool 'B' Bid
NCAA berths in program history: 5 (2011, 2013-14, 2016, 2019)
All-time NCAA Championship Record: 10-8 (.556)
Head Coach (Record with program/ years): Matt Englander (309-226-2/ 13)
All-conference players: Senior third baseman Jacob Kucia (First Team), senior second baseman Rocco Maue (First Team), sophomore outfielder/ catcher Jake Ryan (First Team), freshman left-handed pitcher Nick Denove (Second Team), junior left-handed pitcher Scott Kutschke (Second Team), junior first baseman/ pitcher Casey McConihe (Second Team), senior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski (Second Team)
2019 Overall Record: 26-16-1
Batting average/ Runs per game: .282/ 6.2
ERA/ Opponents' batting average: 4.71/ .280
Conference: Ohio Athletic Conference
How they made the tournament: Pool 'A' Automatic Berth (OAC Champions)
NCAA berths in program history: 13 (1981-84, 1989-90, 2003, 2005-07, 2017-19)
All-time NCAA Championship Record: 21-24 (.467)
Head Coach (Record with program/ years): George Powell (506-350/ 20)
All-conference players: Junior pitcher Collin Hoffman (First Team), sophomore first baseman Luke Barber (Second Team), senior outfielder Tim Snyder (Honorable Mention), senior pitcher Johnny Putnam (Honorable Mention), senior third baseman Connor Brett (Honorable Mention), senior shortstop Ben Beachy (Honorable Mention)
WOOSTER FIGHTING SCOTS
2019 Overall Record: 26-12
Batting average/ Runs per game: .341/ 8.9
ERA/ Opponents' batting average: 4.21/ .274
Conference: North Coast Athletic Conference
How they made the tournament: Pool 'C' At-Large Bid
NCAA berths in program history: 31 (1977-81, 1985-91, 1994-95, 1997-99, 2002, 2004-2010, 2012-13, 2016-19)
All-time NCAA Championships Record: 66-64 (.508)
Head Coach (Record with program/ years): Tim Pettorini (1,239-458-6/ 38)
All-conference players: Senior first baseman Garrett Crum (First Team), junior second baseman Harry Witwer-Dukes (First Team), junior outfielder Nick Strausbaugh, junior designated hitter Dan Harwood (First Team), senior utility player Chandler Dippman (First Team), senior shortstop Jacob Stuursma (Second Team), sophomore pitcher Evan Faxon (Honorable Mention)
2019 Overall Record: 28-15
Batting average/ Runs per game: .293/ 5.8
ERA/ Opponents' batting average: 3.98/ .248
Conference: Liberty League
How they made the tournament: Pool 'A' Automatic Berth (Liberty League Champions)
NCAA berths in program history: 4 (1980, 1989, 1999, 2019)
All-time NCAA Championships Record: 0-6 (.000)
Head Coach (Record with program/ years): Joe Reina (383-310-2/ 18)
All-conference players: Junior pitcher Garrett Renslow (First Team), junior pitcher Brendan Shamieh (First Team), sophomore pitcher Jon Turk (Second Team), junior catcher David Reith (Second Team), freshman designated hitter Jacob Matzat (Second Team), senior pitcher Jack Denzer (Honorable Mention), senior first baseman Aiden Finch (Honorable Mention), freshman shortstop Joseph Rende (Honorable Mention)
- CWRU's records against the teams in the regional during the Matt Englander era (since 2007) are as follows:
- vs. Otterbein: 5-3 (last meeting, 2015 – CWRU 7, Otterbein 5; Streak – CWRU, W1)
- vs. Wooster: 12-13 (last meeting, 2019 – CWRU 21, Wooster 10; Streak – CWRU, W1)
- vs. Rochester: 13-7 (last meeting, 2018 – CWRU 15, Rochester 5; Streak – CWRU, W6)
- CWRU is 3-2 this season against teams either ranked or receiving votes in this week's ABCA/ Collegiate Baseball Poll.
- The Spartans completed the regular season with a .974 fielding percentage, the highest mark among UAA teams and sixth among all Division III teams this year.
- Case Western Reserve is currently ranked 59th in DIII in batting average (.310), 73rd in runs per game (7.4), 47th in slugging percentage (.451) and 62nd in on base percentage (.404).
- The Spartans' pitching staff ended the year ranked 32nd among Division III teams in ERA (3.46), 35th in hits allowed per nine innings (8.41) and 26th in WHIP (1.29).
- CWRU ended the regular season with a 7-0 record when scoring 10 runs or more in a game, and has won 73-straight games when scoring 10 runs or more, dating back to April 17, 2011.
- CWRU is batting .329 as a team against left-handed pitching this season, led by Jacob Kucia and Casey McConihe, who have hit .457 and .458, respectively, against southpaws this season. Meanwhile, the Spartans' pitching staff has held opposing left-handed hitters to a .236 average, including a .170 average against Nick Denove and a .200 mark against sophomore righty Matt Levine.
- The Spartans are making their first NCAA postseason appearance since the 2016 season, when the team traveled to Spokane, Washington for the regional round. Each of the team's six seniors - Rocco Maue, Kucia outfielder Jacob Pestel, Tyler Wypiszenski, pitcher Mark Gross and pitcher Corey Brown – made an appearance in at least one of the two games during the 2016 regional.
- Scott Kutschke is currently ranked second among Division III pitchers in ERA (1.00) and WHIP (0.78), 12th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (8.5), 20th in walks allowed per nine innings (1.00) and 32nd in hits allowed per nine innings (6.00).
- Denove is 35th in DIII in WHIP (0.96) and 83rd in ERA (2.12). He became the just the second pitcher in program history with multiple shutouts in a season (joining Matt Borto who hit the mark in 1999) and is one shy of matching the program's career record.
- Jake Ryan is 49th among DIII players and led the UAA with 0.43 doubles per game during the season. Ryan's 15 doubles are four shy of the program's single-season record, while his eight home runs place him three short of the program record.
- McConihe was the 33rd-toughest batter in Division III to strikeout during the season, averaging just one strikeout every 21 at bats.
- Kucia will enter the postseason with a seven-game hitting streak, his longest hitting streak of the season. He is currently 19th among Division III players with a school single-season record tying six triples this year. Kucia is also 145th among DIII players in batting average in 2019.
- Maue leads the team with 16 multiple hit games and 10 multiple RBI games this season.