Baseball sweeps UChicago for perfect post-spring break start

CWRU mens baseball team maintains a six-game win streak following their victories against UChicago.
CWRU men’s baseball team maintains a six-game win streak following their victories against UChicago.
Courtesy of Tim Phillis/CWRU Athletics

Case Western Reserve University’s men’s baseball team has started off their series play with a sweep of the University of Chicago, improving to 14-5 for the season and extending their win streak to six games. This fantastic post-spring break run could not have come at a better time as the Spartans made good use of this 4-game stretch to prepare for the upcoming four-game series against UAA teams. For the cherry on top, the victory in the third game gave Head Coach Matt Englander his 400th career win. In his 18-year career at CWRU, Coach Englander holds a 401-280-2 overall record for a .588 winning percentage and already holds the most wins in program history by a head coach.

The Maroons were the first to strike in Game 1 on March 23, taking a 1-0 lead at the top of the third. In the next inning, graduate student first baseman Dane Camphausen stole second base on a missed pitch before tying the game following a one-out single from graduate student left fielder Franco Alonso. CWRU took the 2-1 lead after third-year outfielder Logan Andreyko scored on a two-out single from graduate student third baseman James Powers.

On the defensive end, fourth-year pitcher Reece Marley allowed a run in five innings while fourth-year pitcher Tyler Horvath clinched the game after retiring three straight UChicago batters in the sixth before holding the Maroons scoreless in the seventh. The Spartans took the series opening win 2-1.

The Spartans came out of the gate swinging in Game 2, building a quick four-run lead in the first inning. Third-year right fielder Nick Harms hit a ground ball, allowing graduate student catcher Jack Anderson to score the first run. Camphausen’s double allowed Powers to score and a base hit by fourth-year designated hitter Zack Carinci brought Harms and Camphausen home to take the 4-0 lead. CWRU scored a pair of runs in the second inning from Andreyko and Harms and a single run in the fourth from Harms for the chokehold 7-0 advantage.

The Maroons found life in the fifth, scoring 2 runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to cut it to 7-4. The Spartans looked like they were in trouble as UChicago loaded the bases with a pair of outs in the top of the sixth. First-year pitcher Zach Barnes ended that potential tie with a strikeout to end the inning. In the seventh, the Maroons once again had two bases loaded for another tie scenario, but Anderson forced a pop-up and struck out two batters to secure the 7-4 win. Anderson recorded his third save of the season and also went 2-of-3 with a triple and run. Andreyko also went 2-for-3 with 2 runs.

The next day, the Spartans opened Game 3 with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second following a two-out RBI single from fourth-year center fielder Connor Stephenson. UChicago responded with two runs in the third, but CWRU answered with a two-RBI single by Camphausen to score Powers and Harms for the 3-2 Spartan lead. After the Maroons tied it in the next inning, CWRU answered in the fifth inning with singles from Anderson and Powers. Anderson then took advantage of a wild pitch to score from third base while Powers hit home plate right after a sacrifice fly by Harms. In the sixth, fourth-year shortstop Grant Price scored on a single from Anderson to push the game to the eventual final score of 6-3.

The true star of the show was second-year pitcher Archer Stankowski, who played the first eight innings and held the Maroons to 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk. His 13 strikeouts were a career-high and also tied the second-most in a single game in program history. Stankowski was one shy of the program record set by first-year pitcher Quinn Saunders earlier this month. Stankowski lowered his ERA to 3.12 and holds a 3-1 record.

After an early Maroon run in the first and second innings of Game 4, the Spartans answered with 4 runs in the bottom of the second to essentially seal the series sweep. Camphausen, Alonso and Price contributed to the scoring bonanza before Camphausen hit his fifth home run of the season in the third inning to put CWRU ahead 6-2. First-year pitcher Tyler Stillson held UChicago scoreless in the third and fourth innings with 2 runs allowed on 5 hits and 3 walks.

The Spartans will now travel to Atlanta to take on Emory University in a four-game series. They will play Game 1 on March 29, Games 2 and 3 on March 30 and Game 4 on March 31. The following weekend, CWRU will return home to host Brandeis University at Nobby’s Ballpark for four games from April 5-7.

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