Spartans Offense Erupts for 13-2 Win over Alfred State

Spartans Offense Erupts for 13-2 Win over Alfred State

Case Western Reserve University junior Tony Smodilla pitched seven strong innings to earn the first win of his collegiate career, and the Spartans' offense registered season highs in hits and runs, as CWRU rolled to a 13-2 win over Alfred State at the Spartan Southern Classic in Lexington, South Carolina on Wednesday.

The win was the second-straight for the Spartans, who improved to 4-5 overall, while the Pioneers fell to 4-7 on the year following the setback.

Making his first start of the season and the second of his career, Smodilla scattered seven hits over his seven innings of work, allowing just two runs. He failed to walk a batter in the contest, and struck out a career-high seven batters. The 93-pitch outing came after Smodilla pitched in relief twice earlier in the week. He improved to 1-1 on the year following the win, while lowering his ERA to 3.37.

Meanwhile, the Spartans' offense was at its best on Wednesday, matching its season-high with 15 hits and driving in double-digit runs for the first time this year. CWRU also finished the game with a season-best six stolen bases.

Five different Spartan players collected at least two hits in the game, led by senior outfielder Samuel Neal, who went two-for-three with three runs scored, three RBIs, a walk and two stolen bases, raising his season batting average to .375 for the campaign. First-year second baseman Jack Anderson, junior designated hitter Tre Armstrong, sophomore outfielder Cole Jarrett and junior shortstop Jacob Lott each had two hits as well, while senior first baseman Casey McConihe, first-year outfielder Flynn Lenahan and Armstrong each had two RBIs in the game.

Junior catcher Jake Ryan went one-for-five to extend his hitting streak to 16 games (dating back to last season), and McConihe was one-for-five as well to extend his streak to eight-straight games.

The Spartans sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning, and took advantage of a key error by the Pioneers to plate three unearned runs in the frame. A one-out groundout by McConihe scored Neal to get the Spartans on the board, and Lenahan followed with an infield hit to score first-year second baseman Benjamin Gorski. Armstrong capped off the frame with a run-scoring hit to put CWRU in front 3-0.

Alfred State scored a run in the bottom of the first, but Jarrett extended the lead with an RBI hit in the third, and CWRU added three more in the fourth on RBI hits from Ryan and Armstrong, and a sacrifice fly from Lenahan. A sacrifice fly from Neal in the fifth put CWRU in front 8-1.

Meanwhile, Smodilla retired nine-straight batters between the second and fifth innings, and would not allow another run until yielding a solo home run to Matteo Avallone in the sixth. An RBI single from Anderson in the seventh put the Spartans ahead 8-2.

Smodilla left after seven innings, and sophomore Keaton Stankowski closed out the contest with a pair of hitless, scoreless frames. CWRU extended its lead further with a four-run ninth, including a two-run single by Neal.

Starter Nick Serce took the loss for Alfred State, falling to 0-1 on the season.

Case Western Reserve will resume play at the Spartan Southern Classic on Thursday, when the team faces Roger Williams University. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.