Baseball Shocks Defending National Champs Illinois Wesleyan, 5-3
BOX 1 | BOX 2
St. Louis, Mo., March 19, 2011 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team evened its overall record at 9-9 and won its third game in a row with a pair of victories on Saturday afternoon at Kelly Field in St. Louis, Mo.
Washington U. topped the Milwaukee School of Engineering 7-3 in the opening game of the day, and then picked up its biggest win of the year in defeating No. 11 ranked and the defending NCAA Division III National Champion Illinois Wesleyan University, 5-3, in the second game of a double-header.
Sophomore Taylor Berman and junior Brandon Rogalski powered the Bears to the 7-3 win over Milwaukee in the first game of the day. Berman picked up his second complete-game victory of the season to improve to 2-0 on the year while lowering his team-leading earned run average to 2.33 in 19.1 innings of work.
Berman allowed seven hits and three unearned runs over nine innings of action, fanning four batters. Rogalski was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, and his two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning was the Bears’ first long ball of the year.
Rogalski finished the game going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored and was one of six Bears to knock in a run in the win. Sophomore Greg Gleicher was 2-for-3 and senior Travis May was 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Washington University took advantage of two Illinois Wesleyan University errors in the bottom of the first inning to jump ahead 3-0 and after the two teams played five-straight innings without a score, the Bears scored two more runs on a wild play in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 5-0.
Freshman Kyle Billig drove in senior Miguel Davis with an RBI double in the seventh then came all the way around to score on the same play thanks to an error by Illinois Wesleyan third baseman Grodecki. Illinois Wesleyan committed three errors in the loss and all but one of Washington University’s runs was unearned.
Senior Adam Merzel started on the hill for the Red and Green and gave up three runs while striking out seven batters over 7.1 innings of action.
Merzel held Illinois Wesleyan without a run through the first seven innings, then gave up three runs before senior H.T. Flanagan came in to relieve him and close out the game, picking up his fourth save of the year. Merzel received a win and improved his record to 1-2.
“Every game is important for us and for us to come out and play well today just gives us a ton of confidence going forward,” first-year head coach Steve Duncan said. “We went up against IWU's All-American ace, and manufactured runs and were proud of how we played. The offense looked good today, and Adam Merzel pitched a great game against Illinois Wesleyan.”
Washington University (9-9) returns to action on Sunday, March 20, when it will face the Milwaukee School of Engineering and No. 11 Illinois Wesleyan in another double-header. The Bears host Milwaukee at Kelly Field at 10 a.m., and will play Illinois Wesleyan at 1:30 p.m.