CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University baseball team battled through pockets of rainy weather to earn a doubleheader split with Bethany College (W. Va.) on Saturday afternoon at Nobby's Ballpark. The Spartans won game one, 7-4, but fell in the nightcap by a 6-2 score.
With the split, the Spartans (21-12-1 overall) move to 5-2-1 in their last eight contests heading into a crucial six-game stretch over the next seven days. The Bison sit at 9-15.
In game one, the Spartans got off to a quick 2-0 start in the first inning with three-straight one-out hits. Junior shortstop Matt Keen (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) tripled to left center, junior centerfielder Paul Pakan (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) doubled, and senior outfielder Sam Alexander (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) singled. Bethany answered with three runs in the top of the third with Alex Evans scoring on a double-steal and Brad Kubis hitting a two-run double, but Case was quick to regain the lead as junior first baseman Brett Ossola (Potomac, Md./Bullis School) ripped a two-run double to left center in the bottom of the inning.
Case then put the game away with three in the fifth on an RBI double by Alexander and a two-run single by senior catcher Peter Zak (Brookline, Mass./Brookline). Bethany scored just once more on a Derek Miller single in the sixth.
Freshman pitcher Edward Abramson (Maitland, Fla./Winter Park) turned in a quality start on the mound, tossing six innings and allowing three earned runs with a career-high eight strikeouts. Senior Cory Smith (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) came out of the bullpen and faced some early trouble with two on and no out, but the right-hander was able to dance out of trouble for his first career save.
For the game, Alexander was 2-for-2 with a double, a run and two runs batted-in, while Zak collected two hits in three at-bats.
Trent Cornwell took the loss on the hill for Bethany.
The Bison jumped out to an early lead in the nightcap with single runs in the first and second on a wild pitch and an RBI single by Juls Leto.
Not done yet, the visitors pushed their advantage to 5-0 in the top of the fifth inning on a trio of unearned runs as the Spartan defense committed a pair of errors.
The Spartans sliced the Bison lead to 5-2 with a pair of two-out tallies. Zak and sophomore right fielder Jordan Dague (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) were both hit by a pitch putting runners on first and second. Freshman infielder Kerrigan Cain (Hartville, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban) then laced a single to right-center field plating Zak, while freshman infielder William Meador (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) recorded his first collegiate run batted-in bringing home the speedy Dague on a single up the middle.
The Bison tacked on one more run in the top of the sixth for the final 6-2 margin.
Senior righthander Bradley Potter (Rochester, N.Y./Gates-Chili) suffered the loss (2-4) for the Spartans, lasting only 1.1 innings and allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out three and walking one. The sophomore duo of Ray Kelly (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) and Josh Suvak (Independence, Ohio/Independence) recorded the next seven outs, while freshman righty Kevin Johnstone (Placentia, Calif./Valencia) went the next 1.2 innings. Senior lefty A.J. Boshinski (Alpharetta, Ga./St. Pius X) recorded the final four outs via strikeout.
Tyler Kurtz (1-2) notched the win for the Bison, giving up two runs on four hits in 4.2 innings of work striking out one and walking one, while Brad Kubis went the final 2.1 innings allowing one hit with three punchouts.
At the plate, Kubis was 2-for-4 with two runs scored for Bethany, while Juls Leto also went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base.
The Spartans are back in action at home this Tuesday, April 17 with a single, nine-inning game versus cross-town rival Baldwin-Wallace College at 4:00 p.m. Case then hosts its annual game at Progressive Field versus Muskingum University at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 19 before heading to Greencastle, Indiana for a key four-game series at nationally-ranked DePauw University on Saturday and Sunday.