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Baseball: Spartans split No. 10 Wooster

George Jones

Issue date: 3/6/09 Section: Sports
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CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - The Case baseball team looked to their games on Saturday against the College of Wooster, the No. 10 team in Div. III that they had not beaten since 1999, like they had nothing to lose, an attitude that may have helped them split the doubleheader. The Spartans won the first game 2-0 but lost the second game 6-2.

In the first game, sophomore pitcher Zach Fry threw a complete-game shutout. It was the first of his career and the first by a Case pitcher in more than six years.

"He was fantastic. It was the best I've seen him pitch," said coach Matt Englander. "He had great command of three pitches, and the key was that he wasn't afraid to throw them at any count. He also didn't make any mistakes up in the zone. For a pitcher like him, he works better down in the zone; his pitches have more movement."

"He got ahead of hitters, mixed it up, dictated the tempo, and forced their hitters to put the ball in play, which helped keep our defense sharp," said left fielder Matt Richards.

"I told him before the game he needed to throw a one-hit shutout, and he wasn't too far off," said pitcher Devin Dye.

The team defense helped contribute to the victory as well. "We had some real good defensive play behind [Fry]," said Englander. "Usually when a pitcher is going fast, it helps the defense behind him be ready."

"It was an amazing effort of being aggressive on the mound and it translated easily to our fielding," said Richards. "Coach [Englander] always tells us that if we focus on the things we can control (mental approach, aggressiveness, focus, energy), then we will be competitive and successful regardless of our opponent. I really think that it rang true in our first game." As much as the first game showed what they can do, the second game showed that they still have improvements to make.

"I think we lost a lot of the energy that we had in game one. It's something that shows that we are still a young team and we are still learning. Sure, we were able to win a game against the (then-ranked) No. 10 Div. III team in the country. But I think in our minds we were happy to settle with one win, and we can't allow that to happen," said Richards.

The Spartans are looking to build on the momentum heading into their upcoming spring break trip to Florida for the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships. They will first play tune-up games at LaGrange and Emory in Georgia.

"I think we are all extremely excited to finally play in some warm weather…As far as the games, LaGrange embarrassed us twice last year, so it will be nice to try and avenge those losses. It's exciting to play our league games too. Conference games are always important," said Dye.

"I've been saying this all season, but our learning curve is steep and I see us becoming one of the best improving teams in the country this year as we progress through the season," said Richards.
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  • Men's Basketball: Spartans get happy ending against Emory
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  • Spartan Spotlight: Phil Keefe
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