After dropping the first three games of its weekend road trip, the baseball team managed a win over Case Western Reserve University in the nightcap of a Sunday doubleheader at Thomas More College.

Before its afternoon matchup with UAA foes the Spartans, UR had already fallen earlier in the day to Division II Thomas More by a score of 8-2. It was the team’s fourth consecutive loss and brought the Yellowjackets’ overall record to 4-7. At that point, the players were eager to put the defeats behind them and get back in the win column.

“Coach Reina said we needed to forget about the losses and just come out strong,” senior third baseman R.J. Johnsen said. “We wanted to take out all our frustration and anger on [Case Western] and crush them.”

The Yellowjackets got on the board first courtesy of a two-RBI double off the bat of sophomore second basemen Tom Zaccardo in the top of the second. UR added another run in the third inning when Johnsen came around to score from second base on a two-out single by sophomore catcher Cody Martinez.

UR kept up the offensive barrage in the fourth inning. After freshman designated hitter Chris Rosenbaum singled home senior centerfielder Stewart Swayze, Johnsen stepped to the plate and knocked a 1-0 fastball from Spartans starter Leo McNeely over the center field fence. Johnsen’s second home run of the season put the Yellowjackets up 6-0.

In the fifth inning, UR batted around and piled on six more runs, stretching the lead to 12. Case Western could muster only one run in its half of the inning, causing the game to end after five innings due to the 10-run “Mercy Rule.”

Senior Justin Davis started for UR on the hill and went five strong innings to record the complete game, and his second victory of the season. The hard-throwing righthander allowed one earned run on six hits while fannning three.

On Saturday, the Yellowjackets took on Thomas More and Case Western in the first of two weekend doubleheaders.

In the opener, UR fell to the Saints 23-11 in a slugfest that saw seven homers fly out of the park.

Zaccardo and Johnsen both had good days at the plate for the Yellowjackets, combining for three home runs and eight RBIs.

The Yellowjacket’s luck did not change in the second game, as they fell to the Spartans 7-6 for the first time in six seasons. It was only the second win of 2003 for Case Western, who dropped nine of 10 games to start the year.

UR’s doubleheader against SUNY Fredonia, which was originally scheduled for March 26 at Towers Field, was postponed due to wet field conditions. The game will be made up but no date has been set.

Gerton can be reached at mgerton@campustimes.org.



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