GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College split a nonconference baseball doubleheader with visiting Case Western Reserve Sunday. The Quakers (3-6) scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh in a 9-8 opening-game win, but could not rally in the nightcap as the Spartans (3-1) prevailed, 5-1.
Case Western cruised into the opener's seventh and final inning with an 8-3 lead behind four hits and five RBI by Chad Mullins. Brett Ossola belted a two-run homer in the fifth, which helped A.J. Boshinski (0-1) take a five-run cushion into Guilford's final at bat.
As it has in the past two games, Guilford staged a big rally late. The Quakers (3-6) loaded the bases with three straight singles before Derek Hardison's two-run double made it an 8-5 game. After Kent Peterson's RBI groundout plated another run, Jordan Slate flied to right for the inning's second out. Converted pitcher Zack Montalbano tied the game with a two-run, two-out pinch-hit home run, the first of his career. Guilford's Jay Cox and Bryan Bialecki followed with singles before freshman Danny Ditota's single up the middle knocked in the winning run. Classmate Justin Jordan (1-0) earned his first college win with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
The Spartans jumped on Guilford rookie Borja Jones-Berasaluce for five runs in the first two innings of game two. Matt Richards hit a two-run triple and Jimmy Abed added a two-run homer in Case Western's four-run second inning.
Jones-Berasaluce settled down to keep Case Western scoreless the rest of the way, but Guilford's offense could not solve Spartans starter Cory Smith (1-0), who fanned five in four innings of three-hit shutout ball. Ditota's RBI grounder in the fifth got Guilford on the scoreboard, but left-hander Matt Fortunato prevented another Quakers' comeback with two innings of scoreless relief.
Richards and Abed both finished with two hits and two RBI. Guilford's Jay Cox had two of the Quakers' six hits.
While Case Western returns to Cleveland, Ohio, Guilford heads to Ferrum College Tuesday (2/22) for a 3:00 p.m. nonconference game.