Big Offensive Day Powers Bears to Doubleheader Sweep at Millikin

Big Offensive Day Powers Bears to Doubleheader Sweep at Millikin

Decatur, Ill., March 17, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team recorded 34 hits, including 11 for extra bases, to sweep a doubleheader at Millikin University Tuesday afternoon. The Bears powered to a 16-5 seven-inning win in game one, before holding on for an 11-7 win in game two.

WashU extended its winning streak to seven games and improved to 9-3 on the season with the two wins, while Millikin dropped to 3-4. The Bears return to action by hosting Illinois Wesleyan University at 3 p.m. Friday, March 20, in the home opener at Kelly Field. WashU is also scheduled to face Illinois Wesleyan and Concordia University (Ill.) at Noon and 3 p.m. Saturday, followed by another game against Concordia at 2 p.m. Sunday. 

GAME ONE – WASHU 16, MILLIKIN 5 (7 innings)
A huge third inning lifted WashU to a 16-5 win in the seven-inning first game of the doubleheader. With the score tied 1-1, the Bears regained the lead in the top of the third when they brought 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs on eight hits, including four for extra bases. Sophomore Austin Darmawan led off with an infield single, and sophomore CJ Price followed with an RBI-triple to center field. Senior Chris Lowery then got his second RBI of the day on a groundout to third to make it 3-1. Senior Zack Kessinger kept the inning going with a one-out double, and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before senior Brian Cizek drove a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall to extend the Bears' lead to 5-1. Senior Brandon Deger then lined a single over the third baseman for WashU's fifth hit of the inning, and junior Kyle Kozak followed with an RBI double to end Millikin starting pitcher Adam Carlisle's day. Sophomore Scott Nelson lined a single to left field before stealing second. Darmawan reached for the second time in the inning on a two-out error that scored Kozak to make the score 7-1. Price then singled to left field and advanced to second on an error, scoring two more runs for WashU.

Kessinger reached on a leadoff walk, and Cizek followed with his second two-run homer of the game to make it 11-1 in favor of WashU in the top of the fourth. The Big Blue added a run in the bottom of the fourth on a leadoff homerun to make it 11-2, before a two-out, two-RBI double by Cizek extended the Bears' lead to 13-2 in the top of the fifth. A sacrifice fly by Millikin and a two-out error by WashU allowed three runs to score for the Big Blue in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 13-5. In the top of the seventh, Lowery hit his second homerun of the season, a solo shot to left field. The Bears added two more unearned runs late in the inning when sophomore Matt Clohisy reached on a dropped popup by the Millikin first baseman, making the final score 16-5.

Price reached on a one-out error and stole second, before Lowery continued his hot hitting with an RBI double to give the Bears a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Big Blue answered in the bottom of the inning, scoring a run on a two-out single to tie the game at 1-1, before freshman Liam Cotter got his third strikeout of the inning.

WashU finished with a season-high 18 hits in the game, including nine extra-base hits. Cizek led the Bears, going 3-for-4 with two homeruns, a double, three runs scored and six RBIs. Lowery also finished with three hits, going 3-for-5 with a homerun, a double, two runs and three RBIs. Nine different players recorded hits in the game for the Bears, including seven with at least two hits each.

Cotter (2-0) allowed two earned runs on five hits, while recording a season-high six strikeouts in four innings of work to earn the win. Junior Billy Meyer allowed three runs, two unearned, on two hits, while striking out one in one inning of relief. Senior Ian Kelso made his first appearance of the season in the sixth inning, retiring all three batters he faced, while junior Cameron Adams pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the Bears, the first appearance of his career. 

The Bears picked up where they left off in game one to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning of game two. WashU's first three batters reached base with a pair of walks and a single to load the bases. Kessinger drove in the first two runs of the game with a double, and Deger drove in a run with a groundout to make it 3-0. Kessinger scored the Bears' fourth run of the inning on a passed ball before a lineout ended the inning. The Big Blue responded with a run on two hits in the bottom of the inning, scoring on a fielder's choice that the Bears tried to turn into a double play.

In the top of the second, senior Andrew Goldstick led off with a bunt single, and Darmawan reached on a one-out bunt single. They came around to score on back-to-back RBI singles by Price and Lowery to extend WashU's lead to 6-1. A one-out error, followed by a homerun, scored two runs for Millikin to cut the deficit to 6-3. WashU took advantage of an error by the Big Blue in the top of the third to score an unearned run on an RBI-groundout by senior Stewart Martens got make the score 7-3, but Millikin answered with an unearned run of its own in the bottom of the inning to again pull within three runs (7-4).

The score remained 7-4 in favor of WashU until the top of the sixth inning. Lowery reached on an error to lead off the inning, and scored on a single by Clohisy to extend the Bears' lead to 8-4. Millikin scored three two-out runs on three hits and two walks in the bottom of the sixth to make it 8-7, but sophomore reliever Max Cormier got a fly out to end the inning with two runners in scoring position for the Big Blue. The Bears turned a leadoff single by Darmawan into a run on a sacrifice fly by Lowery to make the score 9-7 in the top of the seventh.

Millikin got its first two batters on base in the bottom of the seventh on a single and a hit by pitch, but senior Dom Quaranta got a fly out and a double play to get out of the inning. The Bears added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Darmawan doubled down the left-field line to start the inning, and scored on an RBI single by Lowery. After Kessinger singled to right field, Deger came through with a one-out RBI single to extend WashU's lead to 11-7. The Big Blue got their leadoff batter to second in the bottom of the ninth, but Quaranta recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the game and seal the win for the Bears.

WashU tallied 16 hits in the game and left 14 base runners stranded, while Millikin finished with 11 hits and seven runners left on base. The Bears turned three double plays in the game, but were hampered by five errors. Darmawan went 4-for-4 with two walks, a double and four runs scored in the leadoff spot for the Bears. Deger added three hits with two RBIs, while Lowery (2-for-4, three RBIs, three runs, walk) and Kessinger (2-for-5, two RBIs, run) also had multiple-RBI performances for WashU.

Nelson (2-0) earned the win on the mound for the Bears, allowing four runs, including two unearned, on six hits, while equaling his career-high with five strikeouts. Sophomore Chris McKee allowed three runs on two hits and two walks in 2/3 of an inning, while Cormier pitched a scoreless 1/3 of an inning of relief. Quaranta earned his second save of the season, allowing two hits and striking out two in three shutout innings.

Bear Notebook: WashU has now tallied double-digit hits in eight of 12 games this season … The Bears' three homeruns in game one marked the first time WashU has hit three homers in the same game since hitting three vs. Fontbonne University April 11, 2013 … WashU now has five homeruns this season, just two shy of the team's season total from last year … Cizek is the first WashU player to hit two homeruns in the same game since Ben Ingell accomplished the feat at Knox College April 3, 2011 … Lowery (183) and Kessinger (182) both passed Zander Lehmann (2006-09) on the Bears' all-time career hits list for fifth and sixth, respectively … Kessinger's two RBIs in game two moved him past Joe Kelly (2000-03) for eighth on WashU's career leaderboard with 121 … Lowery's double in the first inning of game one was the 33rd of his career, tying him with Dane Glueck (1993-96) for 10th on WashU's all-time career leaderboard … Kessinger has 32 career doubles, which is one shy of cracking the Bears' top-10 … Lowery extended his hitting streak to nine games … Kessinger and Lowery have both reached base safely in all 12 of the Bears' games this season.