April 5, 2014

Washington U. Baseball Splits Doubleheader with Chicago

St. Louis, Mo., April 5, 2014 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn a 6-4 win over the University of Chicago in game one, but the Maroons rallied for a 5-4 win in game two as the teams split a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Kelly Field.

Game One – Washington U. 6, Chicago 4

Washington U. never trailed in the first game of the doubleheader as the Bears picked up their third straight win. In the bottom of the first, sophomore Max Golembo hit a leadoff single to second base and junior Zack Kessinger reached on an error by the shortstop. The two runners moved up to second and third on a passed ball, ahead of a two-RBI double by junior Chris Lowery. Lowery lined a hit to shallow center, but the Maroons' center fielder tried to make a diving catch and the ball got past him, allowing Golembo and Kessinger to score to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, senior Andrew Dwoskin hit a check-swing single over the second baseman's head to lead off the inning. Junior Brandon Deger followed with a double to deep left-center field, and Dwoskin scored from first to extend Washington U.'s lead to 3-0.

After graduate student Stephen Bonser retired nine straight batters, Chicago's leadoff hitting in the top of the fourth lined a single to right field. After a flyout, Brett Huff hit a ball back to the mound, but Bonser's throw to second went over freshman CJ Price's glove, giving the Maroons runners on first and second. A single scored the first run of the game for Chicago, and a double steal added a second run. A fielder's choice with one out tied the game at 3-3. Washington U. regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when Deger reached on a one-out walk. Junior Andrew Goldstick singled up the middle with two outs and Golembo drove a double to right-center field to score Deger and give the Bears the lead back, 4-3.

In the top of the seventh, Chicago got a leadoff double and scored the game-tying run when Kyle Engel was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make the score 4-4. In the bottom of the eighth, sophomore Kyle Kozak hit a leadoff single up the middle and Dwoskin drew a walk. Deger laid down a sacrifice bunt that came to a stop just in front of the plate to move the runners to scoring position. Senior Kyle Billig singled through the right side to score Kozak and Goldstick followed with a hit to the shortstop. He was able to beat the throw to first for an RBI single to put the Bears ahead 6-4.

Bonser went seven innings in his sixth start on the mound this season. He gave up four runs, just two earned, on eight hits and recorded four strikeouts. Freshman Nick Gollin (2-1) threw the final two innings of relief, holding the Maroons scoreless and allowing three hits to pick up the win. Offensively, Golembo reached base in four of five plate appearances as the Bears' leadoff hitter, finishing 2-for-3 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored. Billig (2-for-4, RBI) and Goldstick (2-for-3, RBI) also finished with two hits each.

Game Two – Chicago 5, Washington U. 4

Chicago got a pair of singles in the top of the first inning of game two to take its first lead of the day 1-0. In the bottom of the inning, the Bears' first five batters reached base. Golembo hit a leadoff single to second and Kessinger was hit by a pitch. Lowery followed with a single to right-center field to tie the game. Price lined a single past the leaping shortstop into left field to score Kessinger. Kozak reached on an error by the pitcher to keep the inning alive, and Deger hit a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Bears ahead 3-1.

The Bears added to their lead in the bottom of the second. Goldstick drew a leadoff walk and stole second, before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Kessinger to make the score 4-1 in favor of Washington U. The Bears maintained the three-run lead until the top of the fifth inning. In that inning, Chicago had three hits and a walk, all with two outs, to score three runs and tie the game at 4-4. The score remained tied until the top of the seventh, when Chicago turned a leadoff double into the eventual winning run as the Maroons held on for the 5-4 win.

Washington U.'s offense was limited to just two hits over the final six innings of the game, as the Bears were outhit 9-7 in the contest. Junior Kunal Patel threw five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks, while equaling his career-high with five strikeouts. Junior Max Zhang (0-2) took the loss for the Bears, despite allowing just two hits and one run in four innings of relief. Zhang also recorded four strikeouts in the game.

Washington U. is now 10-13 overall. The Bears will square off against Chicago in game three of the weekend series at Noon Sunday.

Bear Notebook: Prior to game one, the Bears recognized Director of Athletics John Schael, and he threw out the first pitch as part of "John Schael Day" … Billig has now played in 147 career games, seventh most in school history … Goldstick had three stolen bases on the day, moving him past Jack Brozman (1970-72) for sixth on Washington U.'s career leaderboard with 42 … Bonser pitched in his 40th career game for the Bears … Bonser's four strikeouts brought his career total to 180, passing Tom Eckelman (1961-64) for ninth on the Bears' all-time career leaderboard … Golembo has reached base in all 23 games this season for the Bears.