Baseball Falls to St. Norbert, Tops Grinnell for Home Split Sunday

St. Louis, Mo., March 30, 2014 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team lost to St. Norbert College 6-1 before the Bears snapped their four-game skid with a 4-1 victory over Grinnell College in a pair of games Sunday afternoon at Kelly Field.

Washington U. (8-12) is back in action with five games next week, beginning with a 3 p.m. contest against Spalding University Tuesday at Kelly Field. The Bears then travel to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Wednesday before hosting the University of Chicago for a three-game series Saturday-Sunday.

St. Norbert 6, Washington U. 1
St. Norbert got a one-out triple in the top of the first inning when junior Brandon Deger dove for a ball hit to left field and was unable to make the grab. The Green Knights took the lead on a two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield to make it 1-0. The Bears were held hitless until the bottom of the first when junior Andrew Goldstick hit a one-out single and stole second. Junior Stewart Martens followed with a single up the middle to score Goldstick and tie the game at 1-1.

St. Norbert regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning with four runs on two hits, two walks and an error to build a 5-1 lead. In the top of the seventh, a leadoff walk came around to score on a two-out double extending the Green Knights' lead to 6-1. Washington U.'s best scoring opportunities came in the eighth and ninth innings. Martens drew a walk to lead off the eighth inning, but was caught stealing at second before sophomore Max Golembo also reached on a walk. Junior Chris Lowery hit a two-out single through the left side and junior Zack Kessinger also walked to load the bases, but a high flyout to right field ended the inning for the Bears. Washington U. had back-to-back two-out singles by Goldstick and senior Andrew Dwoskin in the bottom of the ninth, but a fielder's choice ended the game and sealed the win for St. Norbert.

Washington U.'s offense was held in check as the Bears finished with eight hits after managing three in the first five innings. Goldstick was the lone player to record multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored in the game. Graduate student Matt Tracy (2-2) scatted eight hits and three walks over six innings of work, allowing five runs, including two unearned, as he took the loss. Freshman Scott Nelson pitched the final three innings for the Bears, allowing one run on one hit and a walk, while recording three strikeouts.

Washington U. 4, Grinnell 1
Grinnell took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning with a one-out walk and back-to-back two-out singles. The Bears answered in the bottom of the inning with a run on two hits. Senior Kyle Billig led off with a single through the right side of the infield and moved to second on a groundout before scoring on a single to right field by Kessinger.

The score remained 1-1 until the bottom of the sixth. Deger singled to right-center field to start the inning and Goldstick followed with a walk. Martens laid down a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line that advanced the runners to scoring position. Billig followed with a single to shallow center field to scored both Deger and Goldstick and gave the Bears a 3-1 lead before the Pioneers turned a double play to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Lowery hit a one-out single through the left side and advanced to second on a groundout. Sophomore Kyle Kozak hit a high popup that the Grinnell second baseman lost in the sun and it fell for a base hit. Lowery, who was running on the two-out contact, came around to score on the play to extend the Bears' lead to 4-1.

Junior Kunal Patel (1-1) earned his first career win on the mound for the Bears in his third start of the season. Patel allowed just one run on six hits in six innings of work, while recording four strikeouts. Freshman Brad Margolin relieved Patel in the seventh inning. He recorded two strikeouts and gave up three hits in three innings to earn his second save of the season.

Washington U. recorded hits in each of the first seven innings against Grinnell, finishing with 11 hits in the game. Billig was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Deger (2-for-3, walk, run) and Lowery (2-for-4, run) also recorded two hits each. All nine batters for the Bears reached base at least once in the game.

Bear Notebook: The Grinnell game marked the ninth game this season that Washington U. has recorded double-digit hits … Billig has now played in 144 career games for Washington U., which is tied for eighth on the Bears' all-time list … Billig's two hits against Grinnell brought his career total to 173, which is tied for eighth on the all-time leaderboard with Steve Steinbruegge (1997-2000) … Golembo has now reached based safely in all 20 games this season … Lowery had hits in both games to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.