St. Louis, Mo., March 22, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team tallied 16 hits, but allowed four unearned runs on six errors as the Bears came up short in a 6-5 12-inning loss to Concordia University-Chicago Sunday afternoon at Kelly Field.
After WashU took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh, senior Dom Quaranta pitched a scoreless eighth inning for WashU and the Bears maintained the one-run advantage heading to the ninth. Sophomore Matt Clohisy came on to pitch, looking for his third save of the week. After a groundout to start the inning, Mitch Wilson lined a single to shallow left field, but it was misplayed by the Bears for their sixth error of the game and Wilson advanced to third on the play. Joe Silva followed with a single to right field to drive in the unearned run to tie the score at 5-5. Clohisy got a ground ball for a fielder's choice and junior Kyle Kozak threw out the base runner at second to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, WashU got two runners on with one out, but an inning-ending double play sent the game to extra innings.
In the bottom of the 11th, senior Andrew Goldstick stroked a leadoff double off the left-field fence. Sophomore Austin Darmawan reached on a bunt and Goldstick was safe at third on the play. Sophomore CJ Price was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs for WashU. After Concordia-Chicago subbed and went to a five-infielder set, the Cougars were able to get back-to-back fielder's choice ground balls, throwing out the potential winning run at the plate twice. Sophomore Ben Browdy lined the first pitch he saw down the right-field line, but it landed just foul to keep the bases loaded with two outs. Browdy then hit a slow chopper toward third base and dove for first to try to beat the throw, but was called out by the first-base umpire on a bang-bang play to end the inning.
The Cougars' leadoff batter in the top of the 12th flied out, but Concordia-Chicago got back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with one out. A sacrifice bunt scored the go-ahead run before freshman Liam Cotter got a strikeout to end the inning. The Bears went down in order in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
The Bears got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the fourth with two runs on four hits in the inning. Senior Zack Kessinger roped a leadoff single down the right-field line, and senior Brian Cizek lined the first pitch he saw over the second baseman to put runners on first and second with no outs. The Cougars got a pair of outs, before sophomore Scott Nelson battled through a full count and reached on an infield single with a slow-rolling hit toward third base. With the bases loaded, Goldstick drove a ball up the middle for a two-RBI single to put WashU ahead 2-0.
Concordia-Chicago took advantage of two errors by the Bears in the top of the fifth to score two unearned runs and tie the game at 2-2. In the bottom of the inning, senior Chris Lowery got his second hit of the game on a one-out single to right field. Kessinger drove a ball off the left-field fence for an RBI double to give WashU a 3-2 lead. Cizek lined a single just past the Cougars' second baseman, but Concordia-Chicago turned its second double play of the game to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Doug Matthews led off with a triple to straightaway center field for Concordia-Chicago. WashU had two more errors in the inning as the Cougars scored a pair of runs to take their first lead of the game, 4-3. The Bears answered once again in the bottom of the inning. Lowery flared a one-out single to right field, and Kessinger lined a single up the middle past the bare hand of Concordia-Chicago pitcher Matt McTague to put two runners on for the Bears. Cizek then took a 2-2 pitch down the left-field line for a two-RBI double as WashU regained a 5-4 lead.
WashU finished with 16 hits in the game, the second-most for the Bears this season. Cizek (3-for-4, double, two RBIs, run), Goldstick (3-for-5, double, two RBIs), Kessinger (3-for-4, double, RBI, two runs) and Lowery (3-for-6, two runs) accounted for 12 of those 16 base hits for the Bears in the game.
The Bears used five pitchers in the game, who combined for eight strikeouts and allowed just two earned runs on the day. Junior Julian Clarke threw six complete innings in his third start of the season, allowing four runs, including three unearned, on six hits and two walks while striking out five. Sophomore Jake Mintz relieved Clarke in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and no outs, but retired all three batters he faced, getting a strikeout to end the inning. Quaranta had one strikeout in his scoreless eighth inning, while Clohisy was charged with one unearned run on two hits in the ninth. Cotter (2-1) took the loss after allowing one run in three innings of relief.
WashU dropped to 11-5 with the loss, while Concordia-Chicago improved to 7-9. The Bears are scheduled to return to action Wednesday, March 25, when they host Fontbonne University at 3 p.m. at Kelly Field. Prior to that contest, the two teams will also complete their game from Feb. 21 that was suspended in the bottom of the fifth inning due to inclement weather with the score tied 5-5.
Bear Notebook: The six errors by the Bears were a season-high … It was the 10th time this season WashU has recorded double-digit hits in a game … The unearned run for Concordia-Chicago in the ninth inning was the first run allowed by Clohisy in 14 2/3 career innings … Kessinger moved into a tie with Mark Glover (1999-02) for fifth on WashU's all-time leaderboard with his 127th career RBI … Lowery has reached base safely in all 16 games this season, and extended his hitting streak to 13 games … Kessinger has also reached base safely in all 16 games, while Cizek has reached in each of the last 12 … It was Lowery's 10th multiple-hit game of the season … Kessinger made his 140th career start for the Bears in the game.