Jackson, Miss., Feb. 21, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team put together a four-run two-out rally in the eighth inning, but was unable to complete the comeback in a 9-8 season-opening loss to Southwestern University (Texas) Saturday afternoon at Millsaps College.
The Bears' second game of the day against Fontbonne University was suspended after a 50-minute weather delay in the bottom of the fifth inning with the score tied at 5-5. That game will be completed in St. Louis at a later date to be determined.
Southwestern broke a 4-4 tie with five runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth to take a 9-4 lead. The Pirates got a one-out single and a walk ahead of a two-RBI single that gave them the lead for good at 6-4. After a two-out walk kept the inning alive, Southwestern managed three straight RBI singles to extend the lead to 9-4 before the Bears got out of the inning with a strikeout.
WashU put together a rally in the top of the eighth when sophomore Scott Nelson reached on a walk. Junior Max Golembo sparked the rally with a two-out single. Sophomore CJ Price followed with an RBI double down the left-field line, and senior Chris Lowery hit a two-RBI single to right-center field that trimmed Southwestern's lead to 9-7. Senior Zack Kessinger got a single and senior Brian Cizek delivered an RBI single to left-center to make it a one-run game, before a fly ball down the right-field line ended the Bears' rally. WashU put the tying run on base in the top of the ninth with a one-out single by junior Kyle Kozak, but a strikeout and a groundout ended the game.
Southwestern got on the scoreboard first on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first after its leadoff batter was hit by a pitch. The Bears answered with two runs in the top of the second. Nelson reached on a one-out walk and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Kozak tied the game at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly and senior Andrew Goldstick drew a two-out walk to keep the inning alive for Golembo, who delivered an RBI triple to right field to give the Bears a 2-1 lead.
The Pirates turned a leadoff double into the tying run in the bottom of the second, but WashU again answered with two runs in the top of the third. Lowery hit a leadoff single and stole second before Cizek drove an RBI single to center field to give the Bears a 3-2 lead. Senior Brandon Deger followed with a walk. After a pitching change by the Pirates, Kozak drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Goldstick also walked to score Cizek, but the Bears left the bases loaded after taking the 4-2 lead. Southwestern scored one run each in the third and fourth innings to tie the score again at 4-4.
Both teams finished with 10 hits in the game, but WashU left 11 baserunners stranded compared with three for Southwestern. The Bears also had 11 strikeouts compared with just three for the Pirates.
Senior Kunal Patel went four innings in his first start of the season, allowing four runs on five hits while recording two strikeouts. Senior Dom Quaranta (0-1) took the loss after giving up four runs in 2/3 of an inning. Sophomore Max Cormier gave up one run on three hits in Southwestern's big fifth inning, before retiring the next seven batters he faced. Sophomore Matt Clohisy relieved Cormier in the eighth, recording one strikeout in a scoreless inning of work.
Cizek led a solid offensive effort by the Bears, finishing 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Golembo (2-for-6, triple, RBI, run) and Lowery (2-for-5, two RBIs, two runs) also had multi-hit outings for the Bears.
WashU (0-1) is scheduled to take on Millsaps at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, before returning to St. Louis.
Bear Notebook: Kozak increased his hitting streak to seven games, dating to last season, while Kessinger and Lowery each extended their hitting streaks to six games … Kessinger made his 125 career start vs. Southwestern, while Goldstick started his 120th career game at shortstop for the Bears.