Fontbonne Shocks Washington U. With Four Runs in Ninth Inning
St. Louis, Mo., March 7, 2013 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team had its three-game winning streak snapped with a 4-3 loss to Fontbonne University Thursday afternoon at Kelly Field in St. Louis. Fontbonne scored all four of its runs with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.
Senior Matt Tracy (0-2) suffered the loss for Washington U., allowing four hits and three unearned runs in 8 2/3 innings pitched. Tracy struck out five and walked three and did not allow a runner past second base until the seventh inning. Sophomore Max Zhang allowed two hits before getting the final out in the ninth.
Washington U. held onto a 2-0 lead heading into the ninth behind a dominant pitching performance by Tracy. He got the first two batters in the top of the ninth, but a costly error by sophomore Chris Lowery kept the game alive. Tracy walked the next batter and then a single to left field loaded the bases.
Zhang replaced Tracy with the bases loaded, and allowed an infield single by Joshua Taylor to make it 2-1. Lowery made a nice stop deep in the hole to keep it a one-run game. Zhang went to a full count with the next batter Alex Hill, who doubled to centerfield clearing the bases to make it 4-2. Washington U. added a run in the ninth on a two-out RBI single by junior Dylan Reid, but Dustin Graves struck out freshman Max Golembo to end the threat.
The Bears scored their first run of the contest in the bottom of the second inning on three consecutive hits with two outs. Sophomore Zack Kessinger lined a single to left field to get the rally going, and then moved to second on a base hit to left by freshman Kyle Kozak. Kessinger would come around to score on a base hit up the middle by senior Matthew Polites.
Fontbonne, who was playing its season opener, initially tied the contest in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Josh Taylor, but the runner at third base Alex Roedner was called out for leaving early. The Bears added a run in eighth inning after Golembo walked, stole second, advanced to third on groundout and scored on a passed ball.
Washington U. had seven hits in the loss and made three errors. Kessinger led the offensive attack going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Junior Kyle Billig stole the 72nd base of his career in the fourth inning, tied for most in school history.
Graves picked up the win for Fontbonne allowing two hits and two earned runs in two innings pitched. Jacob Becker made the start allowing five hits and one earned run in seven innings. Robert Berger went 2-for-4 to lead Fontbonne, who had six hits in the win.
Washington University (4-3) returns to action with eight games at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship Tournament held Sunday-Sunday, March 10-17, at Sanford Memorial Stadium in Sanford, Fla. The Bears open play against Brandeis University Sunday, March 10, at 5 p.m. (ET).
Bear Notebook: The Bears had won five-straight meetings between the two teams … Lowery's five-game hitting streak came to an end with an 0-for-4 performance … Tracy and Becker faced each other in the season finale a year ago – an 11-3 victory by the Bears on May 2 at home.