St. Louis, Mo., March 25, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team earned a pair of wins over Fontbonne University Wednesday afternoon at Kelly Field. The Bears won 8-6 in the first game, which had been suspended since Feb. 21 in the fifth inning, and picked up a 7-2 win in the second game.
The first game of Wednesday's doubleheader picked up in the bottom of the fifth inning where it had been suspended Feb. 21 in Jackson, Miss. That game was halted after a 50-minute weather delay in the bottom of the fifth inning with the score tied at 5-5.
GAME ONE - WashU 8, Fontbonne 6
Thirty-two days after the game began, WashU started Wednesday with senior Zack Kessinger on third and senior Brian Cizek on second with one out in the bottom of the fifth and the score tied 5-5. On the first pitch of Wednesday's game senior Stewart Martens laid down a suicide squeeze bunt. The Fontbonne pitcher fielded the ball and tossed it home, but was unable to get Kessinger as WashU took a 6-5 lead. Sophomore Austin Darmawan then drove a pitch to shallow right-center for an RBI single to score Cizek and make it 7-5 in favor of the Bears. An RBI single by Kessinger extended WashU's lead to 8-5 in the bottom of the eighth, before Fontbonne got a solo homerun in the ninth before sophomore Brad Margolin got a called strikeout and fly ball to center field to end the game.
A two-out, two-RBI single by sophomore Christian Santos highlighted a four-run first inning for the Bears against Fontbonne. Sophomore CJ Price got a one-out single and senior Chris Lowery was hit by a pitch. Kessinger reached on a fielder's choice and an error on the play allowed Price to score, while moving Kessinger to second. After Cizek drew a walk, senior Brandon Deger hit an RBI single up the middle on a 0-2 count. A wild pitch moved Cizek and Deger each up a base, before Santos came through with a full-count single to score them both and make it 4-0 in favor of WashU. A line drive caught by the second baseman ended the inning for the Bears.
In the bottom of the second, sophomore Max Golembo hit a one-out single and Price drew a walk. After a double steal, Lowery hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Golembo and extend the Bears' lead to 5-0. The Griffins got their bats going in the top of the third to score four runs on five singles to trim WashU's lead to 5-4. Fontbonne took advantage of a leadoff error and loaded the bases in the top of the fifth with a single and a walk before a one-out fielder's choice scored the tying run to make it 5-5.
Senior Max Zhang (1-1) earned the win for WashU after allowing an unearned run on one hit, while striking out four, in two innings of relief. Margolin, who pitched all four innings Wednesday, scattered four hits and allowed one run to earn his first save of the season and fifth of his career. Fontbonne outhit the Bears 12-7 in the game. WashU was led offensively by Price, who finished 2-for-3 with a run scored. Kessinger (1-for-5, two RBIs, two runs) and Santos (1-for-2, two RBIs) had two RBIs each.
GAME TWO - WashU 7, Fontbonne 2
In the top of the first, Price sent a double off the right-field fence with one out and Lowery followed with an RBI single through the right side of the infield to give WashU a quick 1-0 lead. Kessinger followed with a single, but back-to-back groundouts ended the inning for the Bears.
WashU added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth. The first pitch of the inning hit Cizek and junior Kyle Kozak singled to shallow center field. Senior Andrew Goldstick drew a walk to load the bases and sophomore Matt Clohisy followed with a four-pitch walk to make it 2-0 in favor of WashU. Deger hit a sacrifice fly to center, before an RBI single to right-center by Darmawan scored Goldstick for the Bears' third run of the inning.
The Bears took advantage of a two-out error to add a run in the bottom of the sixth. Deger lined a one-out double down the left-field line that stayed just fair over third base. Price reached on a fielding error by the Griffins' second baseman with two outs to keep the inning going, and Lowery lined the first pitch of his at-bat over second base for his second RBI single of the game to make it 5-0.
Sophomore starting pitcher Scott Nelson, who was also the starter in the Fontbonne game Feb. 21, had a career day on the mound Wednesday. He allowed just five hits and one walk in 7 1/3 innings, while recording a career-high eight strikeouts. Nelson stymied Fontbonne offensively, allowing one hit each in the first and second innings before retiring 17 of the next 18 batters he faced.
Fontbonne ended the shutout in the top of the eighth inning when the Griffins scored a run and loaded the bases with one out, before sophomore Jake Mintz got Ben Greenway to hit into an inning-ending double play. In the bottom of the inning, Darmawan reached on a one-out bunt single down the third-base line. He stole second and moved to third on a passed ball on the play, before scoring on a double to the gap in left-center by Price. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Price scored when Kessinger reached on a muffed throw by the pitcher to extend WashU's lead to 7-1. The Griffins scored a run in the top of the ninth on an RBI groundout, and got the bases loaded with back-to-back walks before senior Dom Quaranta got Steven Belovich to fly out to right field on the first pitch he saw to end the game.
Nelson (3-0) earned the win for the Bears, allowing one run on five hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings. Quaranta threw just one pitch to pick up his third save of the season. WashU finished with a 9-6 edge in hits, and took advantage of four Fontbonne errors in the game. The Bears' first three batters – Darmawan, Price and Lowery – all finished 2-for-5 at the plate and combined for four RBIs and three runs scored.
WashU improved to 13-5 on the season with the two wins, while Fontbonne dropped to 8-9. The Bears return to action with a doubleheader at Greenville College beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 28.
Bear Notebook: WashU improved to 8-3 this season when scoring first … Lowery and Kessinger have reached base safely in all 18 games for WashU, while Cizek has reached in each of the last 13.