Four-Run Eighth Inning Lifts Baseball to 7-5 Win Over Rochester

Four-Run Eighth Inning Lifts Baseball to 7-5 Win Over Rochester

Sanford, Fla., March 14, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally for a 7-5 win over the University of Rochester Saturday at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship.

WashU improved to 6-3 on the season and 5-2 in the UAA with its fourth straight win, while Rochester dropped to 3-4 overall and in the conference. The Bears are one game behind Emory University in the conference standings. The Bears face the No. 9-ranked Eagles in their final game at the UAA Championship at 10 a.m. (ET) Sunday. Emory earned a 5-2 win over WashU in the teams' first meeting of the week Tuesday.

After WashU took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth, Rochester scored four runs on five hits and an error to take a 5-2 lead. WashU senior Max Zhang limited the Yellowjackets to one unearned run through the first six hits, but Rochester got to Zhang in the top of the seventh with a pair of singles and a walk that loaded the bases with one out. The Yellowjackets' designated hitter Josh Ludwig came through with a bases-clearing double to give Rochester the lead back at 4-2. Another single put runners on the corners for Rochester before sophomore Matt Clohisy came in to pitch for Zhang. After an error by the Bears loaded the bases, an RBI single extended the Yellowjackets' lead to 5-2 with the bases still loaded and one out before Clohisy got a strikeout and fly out to end the inning.

Sophomore CJ Price led off the bottom of the seventh for the Bears with a single, and senior Chris Lowery followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Lowery got caught stealing second, but senior Zack Kessinger hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Price and cut Rochester's lead to 5-3. Senior Brian Cizek drew a walk and senior Brandon Deger followed with a double to the gap in left-center before a fly out ended the inning.

After Clohisy shut down the Yellowjackets in the top of the eighth, senior Andrew Goldstick hit a one-out single to center field to start the Bears' rally in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore Austin Darmawan followed with a bunt single, ahead of an RBI single to center field by Price. Lowery then doubled to center field and Darmawan scored to tie the game at 5-5. Kessinger was intentionally walked to put runners on the corners with one out, and Cizek came through with the game-winning single up the middle to score Price and Lowery, giving the Bears a 7-5 lead. A fly out and a ground out ended the inning. In the top of the ninth, Rochester got two runners on with a two-out walk and an error, but Clohisy got Brian Munoz to fly out to left field to seal the win for the Bears.

Rochester got on the scoreboard first with a run on a two-out error in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead. The Bears got two runners on in the bottom of the inning, but a groundout ended the scoring threat. After a quick inning by Zhang in the top of the third, including a pair of strikeouts, WashU evened the score in the bottom of the third. Darmawan reached on a one-out error and after stealing second, moved to third on a throwing error by the Yellowjackets' catcher. Price was hit by a pitch and Lowery followed with an RBI single up the middle to tie the game at one run each. Kessinger got on with a single to load the bases, but the Bears' were held to one run when a double play ended the inning.

In the top of the fourth, Rochester got the bases loaded with two singles and a walk, but Zhang got a strikeout and a groundout back to him to end the inning with the score still tied 1-1. WashU got its first two batters on base in the bottom of the fourth, and another runner in the bottom of the fifth, but was unable to take the lead in either inning. Meanwhile Zhang retired the next six batters he faced to keep the score tied 1-1.

The Bears took advantage of two Rochester errors in the bottom of the sixth to plate the go-ahead run. Deger led off the inning with a single, and sophomore Scott Nelson reached on a one-out error to put two runners on. Goldstick reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a throwing error by the Rochester shortstop of the play, which allowed Deger to score the Bears' second unearned run of the game to take a 2-1 lead.

WashU finished with a season-high 16 hits in the game. Lowery led the Bears offensively, finishing 4-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs and a run scored. Eight different players recorded hits for WashU in the game, including six with two hits or more. Clohisy (1-0) earned his first win of the season with 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two. Zhang pitched the first 6 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while recording five strikeouts.

Bear Notebook: WashU improved to 7-2 against Rochester over the last five seasons at the UAA Championship … It marked WashU's sixth game of the season with double-digit hits, and third in a row … Kessinger and Lowery both brought their career hits totals to 177, which is tied with Fred Webb (1983-86) and Ryan Corning (2003-06) for sixth on the WashU all-time career list … Kessinger, Lowery and Price have all reached base safely in all nine of WashU's games this season.