Baseball drops two to open conference play

Sanjay Annigeri, Staff Reporter

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team faced a tough opponent in No. 18 Washington University in St. Louis (WashU), dropping both games at home on Friday, March 29. The Spartans battled hard, but ultimately fell short, losing 7-5 and 2-1.

In the first game, CWRU attempted a late comeback, but it wasn’t enough.

Spartans’ second-year starting pitcher Matt Levine had a rocky start, giving up five early runs by the fourth inning.

The team clawed back through the efforts of their fourth-year players, as catcher Tyler Wypiszenski scored on a passed ball and third baseman Jacob Kucia singled to bring second baseman Rocco Maue home.

However, the Bears increased their lead with runs in the sixth and seventh innings.

The Spartans attempted another comeback, scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Fourth-year left fielder Jacob Pestel drove home a single, and first-year designated hitter Nathan Shaprio drove in another with a groundout. Even with the bases loaded and one out, the Spartans were unable to make any progress against the Bears and ultimately lost.

In the second game, the Spartans kept it tied until the ninth inning. But a late run sealed the victory for WashU.

First-year starting pitcher Nick Denove threw a complete game. Both pitchers started the game off hot, keeping a scoreless first five innings.

The Bears broke through first, scoring on a two-out hit to take the early one run lead in the top of the sixth inning.

The Spartans answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning, with three straight singles by Maue, second-year catcher Jake Ryan and Kucia. A sacrifice fly by second-year right fielder Benjamin Stawicki drove home a run to tie the game at one.

The score remained tied until the Bears jumped on Devone with a two-out single that drove in the game-winning run.

CWRU couldn’t answer back and lost.

The Spartans followed the losses with a win against Baldwin Wallace University on April 3. The win was Head Coach Matt Englander’s 300th career victory. Englander has been with the Spartans for his entire head coaching career. He is currently in his 13th season, and has a career winning percentage of .576, which makes him the coach with the most wins in the program’s history.

The Spartans ended the week with one win and two losses, bringing their overall season record to 13-8 and University Athletic Association record to 0-2.

The team will continue conference play and travel to New York University for a four-game series from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7.