Washington University Baseball Set to Open Season Friday at Rhodes
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St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 21, 2013 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team begins its 2013 season with three games in Memphis, Tenn., Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23. The Bears take on Rhodes College in their season opener at 2 p.m. Friday, before facing No. 10-ranked Webster University and Rhodes in a pair of games at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.
Saturday’s game against Webster is the first of four contests between the Bears and Gorloks this season. The Bears are scheduled to play 18 of their 39 games against teams ranked or receiving votes in the D3Baseball.com preseason top-25 poll. Washington U. begins the season three spots outside the top-25, and is also among the teams receiving votes in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
Washington U. was the 2012 University Athletic Association (UAA) runner-up, and advanced to the postseason for the eighth time in school history. Head coach Steve Duncan begins his third season at the helm of the Bears’ program with a 57-31 record and a .648 winning percentage.
The Bears return eight starting position players and its entire starting pitching rotation from last year’s team that finished with a 28-14 record. Among the returners are four all-UAA and three all-region honorees – junior outfielder Kyle Billig, senior pitcher Stephen Bonser, sophomore shortstop Andrew Goldstick, and sophomore infielder Chris Lowery.
Billig earned his second-straight first-team all-UAA recognition in 2012. He was also a second-team all-region honoree from D3Baseball.com and received third-team all-region accolades from ABCA/Rawlings. Billig led the UAA and ranked fourth in NCAA Division III with 59 runs scored last season, which tied the Washington University single-season record. He also broke his own single-season record with a UAA-best 35 steals. Billig enters his junior season ranked third on the Washington University career steals list, and is just four steals shy of becoming the Bears’ all-time career leader. Last season, he reached base in 40 of 42 games, including a 24-game hitting streak, while batting .362 as Washington U.’s leadoff hitter.
Bonser posted a 6-4 record and a 3.28 ERA in 13 starts for the Bears in 2012 to earn second-team all-UAA and third-team ABCA/Rawlings all-region honors. He tossed five complete games and two shutouts in 2012, and ranked fourth in the conference with 51 strikeouts in 79.2 innings. Bonser begins his senior season ranked 10th on Washington U.’s career ERA leaders list (3.30), and is five wins shy of entering the top-10 for career games won.
Goldstick was named to the all-UAA first team in his rookie season after starting 35 of 36 games played at shortstop for Washington U. He batted .354 with 45 hits, 27 runs and 26 RBIs, while striking out just five times in 127 at-bats in 2012. Goldstick also had a team-best 104 assists last season. He ended 2012 with a six-game hitting streak for the Bears.
Lowery garnered second-team all-UAA and D3Baseball.com all-region third-team honors in his freshman season. He appeared in 35 games and made 26 starts at four different positions for the Bears in 2012. Lowery batted .359 with 42 hits, six doubles, two triples and two home runs, while also finishing with 25 runs and 18 RBIs last season.
Following this weekend’s three games, Washington U. is scheduled to play its home opener at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, against Fontbonne University.