April 6, 2014

Offense Comes Alive as Washington U. Baseball Downs Chicago 12-1

St. Louis, Mo., April 6, 2014 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team put together one of its best all-around performances of the season as the offense scored a season-high 12 runs and the Bears' pitching staff allowed just six hits en route to a 12-1 victory over the University of Chicago Sunday afternoon at Kelly Field.

After being limited to seven hits in game two of Saturday's doubleheader against Chicago, Washington U. was all over the Maroons' starting pitcher Sunday, scoring five runs on six hits in the first inning. The Bears had four straight singles to start the bottom of the first. Sophomores Max Golembo and  Kyle Kozak hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning for Washington U., and Golembo scored on an RBI single by junior Chris Lowery. After junior Zack Kessinger singled to load the bases, senior Andrew Dwoskin hit a grounder to the second baseman that Chicago was able to get Kessinger out at second on the fielder's choice, but the shortstop sailed the throw to first out of play. Kozak scored on the Dwoskin's hit and Lowery scored on the error to make it 3-0, while Dwoskin advanced to second on the error. Freshman CJ Price followed with a single, and a single by junior Brandon Deger scored Dwosin and moved Price to third. Price then scored on a wild pitch to make the score 5-0 before the Maroons finally got out of the first inning.

In the bottom of the second, senior Kyle Billig roped a hit down the first-base line and over the first baseman's head for a leadoff double. He scored on an RBI groundout by Kozak to extend the Bears' lead to 6-0. Washington U. added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it 9-0. Junior Andrew Goldstick drew a walk to lead off the inning and Billig laced his second straight double down the first-base line to score Goldstick and make it 7-0. Golembo was hit by a pitch and Lowery hit a one-out single to left-center field to score Billig. A sacrifice fly by Kessinger pushed the lead to 9-0.

Chicago got a runner to third base in each of the second and fourth innings, but in both innings graduate student Matt Tracy got strikeouts to end the inning and keep the shutout intact. In the top of the sixth inning, the Maroons loaded the bases with two outs on a single and two walks, but Tracy got the designated hitter Andrew VanWazer to lineout to Kessinger at first to end the inning.

Kozak drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Kessinger hit a one-out single to the right side of the infield to score Kozak and put the Bears ahead 10-0. Chicago finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh inning with an unearned run with two outs to make the score 10-1. Washington U. added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Freshman Scott Nelson hit a double over the left fielder's head to start the inning for the Bears. Nelson scored when freshman Andrew Thompson reached on a throwing error by the second baseman. Freshman Christian Santos then drove an RBI-double down the left-field line to make the final score 12-1.

Tracy (3-2) earned the win for the Bears, allowing just four hits in six shutout innings of work. Freshmen Max Cormier and Matt Clohisy and junior Dom Quaranta each pitched an inning of relief, combining for four strikeouts and just two hits allowed.

Washington U. outhit the Maroons 14-6 in the game, and nine different batters recorded hits for the Bears. Washington U. also turned three double plays in the game, bringing its season total to 29, which ranks in the top 10 in NCAA Division III. Billig led the Bears offensively, finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. Lowery (2-for-4, two RBIs, run) and Kessinger (2-for-3, two RBIs) each had two hits and two RBIs, while Price (2-for-4, run) also finished with two hits on the day.

Washington University is scheduled to finish its 14-game homestand with three midweek games at Kelly Field. The Bears are slated to take on Iowa Wesleyan College at 3 p.m. Tuesday, before facing No. 15 Birmingham Southern College in games at 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Bear Notebook: The Bears recorded double-digit hits for the 11th time this season and improved to 7-4 in those contests … Billig's two doubles moved him into a tie for eighth with Bob Wallace (1992-95) on Washington U.'s career doubles list (34) … Billig also moved past Wallace, Fred Webb (1983-86) and Ryan Corning (2003-06) for fifth on WUSTL's career hits list (178) … Billig's two runs scored brought his career total to 160, which is five shy of becoming Washington University's all-time career leader … Golembo has reached base in all 24 games this season for the Bears … It was the 10th multiple-hit game of the season for Kessinger.