Case Western Reserve University junior outfielder/ catcher Jake Ryan hit three home runs, and the Spartans slugged six home runs as a team, as CWRU picked up a statement win on Thursday afternoon with a 21-10 victory over the 11th-ranked College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.
The win raised the Spartans' record to 19-11 overall, while Wooster fell to 17-7 with the loss. The 21 runs scored by CWRU were the most by the team since a 21-0 win over Westminster (Pa.) on April 5, 2014.
It was the first career multiple home run game of Ryan's career, and marked the first time that a Spartan player has hit three home runs in a game since senior second baseman Rocco Maue slugged three against Roger Williams on March 14, 2018. Ryan connected on a solo home run in the top of the third that extended the Spartans' lead to 5-2, a two-run shot in the top of the fourth that put CWRU ahead 9-2, and another solo shot in the seventh that gave the team a 17-5 lead. He finished the game four-for-four, adding on a double, scoring five runs and driving in four. He leads all CWRU players this season with eight home runs.
Other Spartans to notch home runs on Thursday included sophomore designated hitter Benjamin Stawicki, who connected for the first long ball of his career in the first inning of the game, helping CWRU take a 4-0 lead, senior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski, who hit a two-run home run as part of a seven-run fifth inning, and junior first baseman Casey McConihe, who slugged a grand slam in the seventh inning for his first home run of the season.
Stawicki was three-for-five in the game with three runs scored and four RBIs, while Wypiszenski ended the day two-for-four with the home run, a double, two runs scored and three RBIs, and McConihe went two-for-five with a run and five runs batted in. CWRU outhit Wooster 17-14 in the contest.
Senior third baseman Jacob Kucia put the Spartans on the board with a one-out single in the first inning that scored both Ryan and Maue, and Stawicki extended the lead with the two-run home run in the next at bat. Wooster cut the Spartans' lead in half with two runs in the bottom of the second, but CWRU scored three in the third and two in the fourth to go ahead 9-2.
Leading 9-4 heading into the fifth, CWRU broke out for a seven-run frame against the Fighting Scots, taking a 16-4 lead.
With a 12-run advantage, sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Matt Levine left the game after five inning, eventually earning the win to improve to 5-2 on the season. He allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out three batters in the game.
Wooster scored a run in the sixth, but the Spartans scored five in the top of the seventh, including four on the Mcconihe grand slam. Senior Mark Gross, senior Corey Brown, junior Paul Slota and freshman Keaton Stankowski each pitched an inning in relief to close out the victory for CWRU.
Wooster starting pitcher Colin Springer allowed seven runs in three innings of work to suffer the loss, falling to 1-1 on the season.
The Spartans will be back in action on Saturday, April 20th at 1:00 p.m. against Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio.