TIFFIN – Case Western Reserve University used excellent starting pitching and timely two-out hitting and swept a doubleheader from Heidelberg on Saturday. Case won the first game 4-1 and won the nightcap 5-1.
The Spartans used a walk and two singles to plate a run in the top of the first. Brett Ossola hit a ground ball up the middle for a two-out RBI, scoring Matt Keen. Heidelberg starter Ryan Minteer (Venetia, PA/Peters Township) needed 31 pitches to get out of the inning.
In the top of the third, Case Western Reserve added a pair of unearned runs. With two outs and the bases loaded, Robert Winemiller hit a come-backer to the mound that Minteer could not field cleanly, which allowed Keen to score. During the next at bat, Andrew Gronski scored on a passed ball by catcher Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic). Minteer (1-3) induced a grounder to end the inning.
Heidelberg got on the board in the third. Jordan Martin (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) reached on an error and Andrew Zenczak (Brunswick) singled with one out. After Martin advanced to third on a fielder’s choice, he scored on a single by Ben Blystone (Brownsburg, IN) to make the score 3-1.
The Spartans answered in the fourth. Keen blistered a two-out double to left-center which allowed William Meador to score from first.
Heidelberg threatened in the fifth. With two outs, Blystone reached on an infield single. Grove singled on a bloop down the left field line and moved to second on the throw to third. Spartan starter Jarrett Gish (3-0) got Monroe to pop out to end the inning.
In the seventh, Ben Sniezek (Dearborn Heights, MI/Crestwood) relieved Minteer. With a runner on, Brett Ossola hit a bouncing ball up the middle. Staab, the second baseman, scooped the ball to Zenczak with his glove. Zenczak stepped on second, spun and fired to first for a double play.
Gish allowed just six hits in the complete game and finished with four strikeouts.
In the second game, the first three Spartans reached base. ‘Berg starter Tyler Fruhwirth (Beavercreek) hit leadoff man Kerrigan Cain and gave up singles to Keen and Gronski. Paul Pakan lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score a run. After Ossola lined out to deep left, Fruhwirth fanned Winemiller to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third trailing 1-0, Heidelberg scored an equalizer. Trevor Oldham (Akron/Hoban) led off with a double to left and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Martin. Zenczak hit a groundball to third that Spartan third baseman Mike Ilacqua could not handle, which allowed Oldham to score.
Case regained the lead in the sixth with two unearned runs off of Fruhwirth (1-2). Andrew Frey hit a one-out single after Grove dropped a foul pop. Frey was hit by a batted ball by Meador for the second out. Ilacqua followed with a double to left which pushed Meador to third. Cain hit a grounder past a diving Staab at second to plate two runs.
The Spartans extended their lead in the seventh off of reliever Kyle Fluharty (Plymouth/Willard). Gronski drew a walk to lead off and scored on a double to center by Pakan. On a single up the middle by Winemiller, Pakan scored to make it 5-1.
Travis Gray (Markle, IN/Norwell) relieved Fluharty to start the eighth and worked two scoreless innings.
Heidelberg made some noise in the ninth. Grove led off with a single and advanced to third on a double by Steve Morse (Scottsdale, AZ/St. Mary’s). Grove scored on a wild pitch by Case starter Kevin Johnstone.
Blystone popped up and Squibb grounded out. Oldham struck out looking to end the game.
Johnstone worked a complete game five-hitter, allowing just two runs. The sophomore struck out seven to improve his season record to 1-1.
Heidelberg and Case return to action on Sunday. The single game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.