Sanford, Fla., March 15, 2014 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team had a seven-run lead slip away, but the Bears held on for a 9-8 win over the University of Rochester in their final game of the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship Saturday at Sanford Memorial Stadium.
Washington U. finished the UAA Championship with a 5-7 overall record and a 4-4 mark in the conference. Rochester dropped to 2-6 both overall and in the UAA with the loss.
The Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Sophomore Max Golembo led off the game with a double down the right-field line, before scoring on a one-out single by senior Andrew Dwoskin. Junior Chris Lowery reached on a fielder's choice and freshman CJ Price was hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive for Washington U. Junior Brandon Deger drove a full-count pitch over the center fielder's head for a two-RBI double to make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the inning, Rochester got a rally started with a two-out single up the middle. Nolan Schultz hit a ball to shallow right field, but it got past Golembo who tried to make a diving catch. The Bears tried to throw Schultz out at third on the play, but an errant throw allowed him to score and cut Washington U.'s lead to 3-2 before a flyout ended the inning. Washington U. got the two runs back in the top of the second. Junior Stewart Martens and Golembo reached on back-to-back one-out walks, and junior Zack Kessinger drove them in with a single up the middle to regain a three-run lead for Washington U. (5-2). In the top of the third, Price led off with an infield single and came around to score on a two-out single up the middle by junior Andrew Goldstick.
The Bears added three runs on four hits in the top of the fourth to extend their lead to 9-2. Dwoskin drew a leadoff walk, and Lowery and Deger followed with singles to load the bases with one out. Senior Kyle Billig drove in Dwoskin on an RBI single to center field to make it 7-2. Martens recorded his first two RBIs of the season with a two-out single to score Lowery and Deger give the Bears a seven-run advantage. Washington U. had a chance to add to its lead in the top of the sixth after a pair of walks and a fielding error by Rochester, but left the bases loaded to keep the score 9-2.
Graduate student Matt Tracy settled in after allowing the two first-inning runs, retiring a stretch of 10 straight batters through the fifth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, he gave up three singles and a double before being lifted for freshman Nick Gollin. After getting the first batter he faced to popup for the second out of the inning, Gollin walked two straight batters, which scored the third run of the inning for the Yellowjackets. Gollin got out of the inning with a 9-5 lead after getting a flyout to end Rochester's rally. Gollin gave up a two-out walk in the top of the seventh, but the third flyout of the inning kept the score 9-5 in favor of Washington U.
The Bears got into trouble in the bottom of the eighth, when freshman Max Cormier walked both batters he faced on eight straight pitches. Junior Ian Kelso replaced Cormier for his first appearance on the mound this season. The Yellowjackets got a single to right field to load the bases, and Kelso hit the next batter he faced, which made the score 9-6. Junior Dom Quaranta entered the game for his first relief appearance of the season. The first two batters he faced reached on fielder's choices that both scored runs to cut the Bears' lead to 9-8, but a third straight grounder to Goldstick at shortstop ended the inning. Quaranta retired all three batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth to seal the 9-8 win for the Bears.
Tracy (2-0) got the win for Washington U., allowing five runs, including one unearned, on seven hits in 5.1 innings of work. Quaranta picked up his first career save with his two hitless innings of relief. Deger led the Bears offensively, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Kessinger (1-for-6, two RBIs) and Martens (1-for-2, two RBIs, two walks, run) also had two RBIs for Washington U. The Bears outhit Rochester 10-8 in the game, left a season-high 12 baserunners stranded in the game.
Washington U. returns to action with a road game at Millikin University Wednesday, March 19. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Decatur, Ill.
Bear Notebook: All nine batters in the Bears' lineup recorded at least one hit in the game … Golembo and Dwoskin have both reached base in all 12 games this season.