Sanford, Fla., March 12, 2015 – A three-run fifth inning helped lift the Washington University in St. Louis baseball team to a 6-3 win over Brandeis University Thursday at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship.
WashU improved to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the UAA with the win, while Brandeis dropped to 2-9 overall and 0-5 in conference play. The Bears are now one game behind No. 9 Emory University and No. 15 Case Western Reserve University in the UAA standings with three games remaining. WashU and Case square off at 11 a.m. (ET) Friday, March 13. The Spartans held on for an 8-5 win in the teams' first meeting of the week Sunday.
After falling behind 2-0, WashU scored four unanswered runs, including three in the fifth inning to take the lead. Brandeis got on the scoreboard first with a two-run homerun in the bottom of the first inning that gave the Judges a 2-0 lead. The Bears had the bases loaded in the top of the first, but a double-play ended their scoring threat. In the top of the second, WashU got a pair of runners on with no outs, but another double play by the Judges kept the Bears scoreless.
WashU got on the scoreboard in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly by senior Zack Kessinger to cut the Brandeis lead to 2-1. Junior Max Golembo led off the inning with a walk and made it to third on a Brandeis error on sophomore CJ Price's fielder's choice, before Kessinger's fly ball to center field drove in the Bears' first run.
The score remained 2-1 until the top of the fifth, when WashU got four hits to plate three runs to take a 4-2 lead. Senior Chris Lowery got the rally started with a one-out single and Kessinger followed with a single to center field. Sophomore Ben Browdy drew a walk to load the bases, and the Bears executed a triple steal as Lowery stole home to tie the game at 2-2. Junior Kyle Kozak then singled to left field to score Kessinger to give WashU its first lead, and sophomore Austin Darmawan had a two-out RBI single to extend the lead to 4-2.
Brandeis cut the Bears' lead to 4-3 with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth after a pair of hits, but freshman Liam Cotter got back-to-back strikeouts to preserve WashU's lead. In the top of the eighth, the Bears added two insurance runs on three hits. Golembo led off with a single and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a steal, before Price was hit by a pitch. Lowery reached on a fielder's choice that scored Golembo to make it 5-3 in favor of WashU. After Kessinger drew a walk, Browdy singled to load the bases with one out. Kozak followed with an RBI single to center field to extend the lead to 6-3, but a called strikeout and a fly out left the bases loaded for the Bears. Sophomore Matt Clohisy relieved Cotter in the bottom of the eighth and pitched two scoreless innings for the Bears to seal the 6-3 victory.
WashU outhit Brandies 13-8, but the Bears left 15 runners on base in the game. WashU also had seven walks in the game, while striking out just once. The Bears stole a season-high nine bases, including four steals by Lowery.
Golembo finished 3-for-4 with two walks and two runs scored to lead the Bears offensively, while Kozak was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs. Kessinger (2-for-2, two walks, run, RBI), Darmawan (2-for-5, RBI) and sophomore Scott Nelson (2-for-5) also finished with two hits each.
Cotter (1-0) threw seven complete innings to earn a win in his first career start. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. Clohisy picked up his second save of the season with his two scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit and two walks, while recording one strikeout.
Bear Notebook: WashU improved to 7-2 against Brandeis in UAA play in the past five seasons … Golembo had one stolen base, increasing his career total to 41, which is tied with Jack Brozman (1970-72) for seventh on the Bears' all-time career leaderboard … It was Golembo's team-leading fifth multiple-hit game of the season, and extended his hitting streak to five games … Golembo, Kessinger, Lowery and Price have all reached base safely in all seven of WashU's games this season.