CWRU Baseball Walked Off by Earlham 5-4 in Season Opener

CWRU Baseball Walked Off by Earlham 5-4 in Season Opener

Case Western Reserve University sophomore outfielder Cole Jarrett and junior catcher Jake Ryan each homered for the Spartans during their season-opening game on Saturday afternoon in Richmond, Indiana, but Earlham College overcame a four-run deficit to win the game 5-4 in its final at bat.

Ryan, first-year second baseman Benjamin Gorski and senior outfielder Samuel Neal each collected two of the Spartans' eight hits in the game, but three Spartan errors turned into three unearned runs, ultimately dooming CWRU on Saturday.

Jarrett got the Spartans off to a quick start, leading off the game with a home run, the second of his career. Gorski followed with a double, eventually coming around to score on a wild pitch with two outs, putting CWRU in front 2-0 after half an innings of play.

CWRU extended its lead with two more runs in the top of the third, when Ryan led off the frame with a home run to centerfield, and Neal scored on a passed ball, putting the Spartans in front 4-0.

Earlham creeped closer in the fifth with a pair of unearned runs against CWRU sophomore starting pitcher Nick Denove, but the southpaw left the game after seven innings with the two-run lead still intact. Denove scattered six hits and a walk and struck out seven batters in the no-decision.

However, the Quakers tied the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth off junior reliever Tony Smodilla, scoring the game-tying run on an error. Smodilla was on the verge of working around a leadoff hit-by-pitch in the ninth, but a two-out double by Earlham's Austin Hatfield scored the game-winning run, giving the Quakers the win.

Nate Hemmerich pitched a pair of shutout innings for Earlham to pick up the victory.

Case Western Reserve and Earlham will wrap-up their season-opening series tomorrow with a doubleheader starting at noon.