Memphis, Tenn., Feb. 22, 2014 – A two-out single in the top of the ninth inning by senior Andrew Dwoskin drove in two runs to give the Washington University in St. Louis baseball team a 4-2 win in its season opener against Wartburg College Saturday afternoon in Memphis.
Washington U. held a 2-0 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth inning, but DJ Utley hit a two-out, two-run homerun for Wartburg to tie the game. In the top of the ninth, juniors Chris Lowery and Zack Kessinger hit back-to-back two-out singles, and advanced to second and third on a balk by Utley. Dwoskin followed with a two-RBI single to center field to give the Bears the 4-2 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Wartburg got two runners on with one out, but sophomore Julian Clarke got a line out and a flyout to earn the first win of his career for the Bears.
Washington U. got on the board in the first inning when Lowery reached on an error with two outs. He advanced to third on another error by the Knights, before Kessinger singled to right field for his first RBI of the season. In the bottom of the second, Wartburg got a leadoff double and another batter reached on an error, but graduate student Stephen Bonser got a pair of flyouts and a strikeout to keep the Knights scoreless. Wartburg's leadoff runner reached second with a single and a stolen base in the bottom of the third, but Bonser got a flyout and a pair of called strikeouts to preserve the shutout.
In the top of the fifth, Washington U. got the bases loaded with one out courtesy of two more errors by Wartburg and a walk drawn by senior Kyle Billig, but a double play ended the scoring threat for the Bears and kept the score 1-0. The Knights got runners on first and second with a pair of singles in the bottom of the sixth, but Bonser got Michael Schinstock hit into a double play to end the inning.
Junior shortstop Andrew Goldstick led off the top of the seventh with a walk and sophomore Max Golembo followed with a single to give the Bears runners on first and second with no outs. After Billig reached on a fielder's choice bunt that got Goldstick out and moved Golembo to second, Kessinger came through with a two-out single to center field to drive in his second run of the game and make it 2-0.
Washington U. finished with 11 hits in the game, and took advantage of five errors by the Wartburg defense. Kessinger led the way offensively for the Bears, finishing 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Golembo (2-for-4, walk), Dwoskin (2-for-5, two RBIs) and senior Dylan Reid (2-for-4) also had multiple-hit games for Washington U. Bonser scattered six hits and recorded seven strikeouts, allowing one run in 7.2 innings of work. Clarke (1-0) gave up one run on three hits and recorded one strikeout in 1.1 innings of relief to get the win.
Washington U. (1-0) returns to action with a doubleheader against Rhodes College Sunday, Feb. 23, in Memphis. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Bear Notebook: It was Washington U.'s first season-opening win in head coach Steve Duncan's four seasons … Kessinger extended his hitting streak to 19 games, dating to April 4, 2013 … Clarke's relief appearance was the first varsity action of his career … It was the 30th multiple-hit game and 20th multiple-RBI game in Kessinger's career … Dwoskin has recorded 11 multiple-RBI games in his career ... Lowery's hit in the top of the ninth was the 100th of his career ... Bonser moved into ninth on Washington U.'s career innings pitched list (218.1).