March 21, 2014

Baseball Falls to No. 6 Webster in Final Innings

St. Louis, Mo., March 21, 2014 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team took a 7-6 lead into the eighth inning, but No. 6-ranked Webster University exploded for 17 runs over the final two innings to finish with a 23-7 win Friday evening at Kelly Field.

The game was back-and-forth throughout the first seven innings, with Webster scoring first and Washington U. answering in the bottom half of each inning. The Gorloks led 1-0 after their first at-bat, but a pair of two-out hits by juniors Brandon Deger and Andrew Goldstick tied the score at 1-1 at the end of the first inning. Webster reclaimed the lead 2-1 on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth inning, but the Bears again found an answer in the bottom of the inning, tying it at 2-2. Sophomore Kyle Kozak laced a hit to left field to drive in Goldstick, who had reached on a fielder's choice before moving to second on a balk and stealing third.

Starting pitcher, graduate student Stephen Bonser retired seven straight batters before giving up a two-out single in the top of the sixth. The Gorloks went on to score a pair of unearned runs in the inning on a two-error play that gave them a 4-2 lead. In the bottom of the inning, junior Zack Kessinger drew a leadoff walk and junior Brian Cizek followed with a double to left field. Goldstick then hit a one-out single to score Kessinger. After a pitching change, Kozak lined his second straight double to left field to drive in Cizek and tie the game at 4-4. Goldstick scored on a wild pitch that allowed Kozak to advance to third. After senior Kyle Billig was hit by a pitch, Kozak scored on a double steal to put the Bears ahead 6-4.

Webster took advantage of back-to-back walks to start the inning, turning them into a pair of runs to tie the game again at 6-6. In the Bears' half of the inning, Kessinger hit a deep fly ball to center field and was able to slide into third for a leadoff triple, just beating the tag on the play. Cizek drew a walk and Goldstick reached on a fielder's choice that scored Kessinger to regain the lead for the Bears, 7-6. The rest of the game was all Webster, as the Gorloks recorded 14 hits to score 17 runs in the final two innings to finish with the 23-7 victory.

Washington U. finished with 11 hits in the game, including seven for extra bases, while the Gorloks had 22 base hits in the contest. The Bears also had five errors in the contest, and both teams left eight baserunners stranded. Goldstick led the Bears offensively, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Kozak (2-for-3, two RBIs, run, walk) and Cizek (2-for-3, run, walk) also had two-hit days for Washington U.

Bonser threw six innings, allowing seven hits and three walks, while recording six strikeouts. He allowed six runs, including two unearned in his fourth start of the season and finished with a no decision. Junior Max Zhang (0-1) took the loss for the Bears, giving up three runs on four hits in an inning of relief. Washington U. used four pitchers in the final two innings, and they combined to give up 12 runs, including five unearned.

Washington U. (6-8) returns to action hosting a doubleheader against Illinois Wesleyan University Saturday, March 22. First pitch for game one is scheduled for Noon at Kelly Field.

Bear Notebook: Bonser passed Thor Larsen (1995-98) for fifth on Washington U.'s career innings pitched list (239.2) … Bonser's six strikeouts moved him into a tie with John Crosby (1966-69) for 10th on the Bears' career list (175) … Billig's double in the eighth inning moved him into a four-way tie for 10th on WUSTL's career doubles leaderboard (32) … Goldstick's two steals brought his career total to 38, which ranks seventh in Washington U. history … Sophomore Max Golembo, who had a single and a walk in the game, has reached base in all 14 games this season.