St. Louis, Mo., April 4, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team got a walkoff sacrifice fly to win game one against Spalding University, but the Bears were unable to overcome a five-run deficit in game two as the teams finished with a split of their doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Kelly Field. The Bears won the seven-inning first game 7-6, before falling 6-4 in game two.
WashU is now 18-7 overall on the season, while the game two win pushed Spalding's record to 10-9. The Bears are scheduled to return to action by hosting Fontbonne University at 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 7.
GAME ONE – WASHU 7, SPALDING 6 (7 innings)
After Spalding tied the game with an unearned run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth, the Bears got the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the inning but were unable to plate the go-ahead run. Junior Julian Clarke gave up a leadoff single in the top of the seventh, but it was erased when junior Kyle Kozak caught the runner trying to steal second. A strikeout and a fly ball to center field kept the score tied 6-6 heading to the bottom of the seventh. Senior Zack Kessinger led off the inning with a ground ball hit, but the Spalding second baseman bobbled the ball then threw it into the Golden Eagles' dugout to allow Kessinger to reach second. Kozak hit a one-out single through the left side of the infield to put runners on the corners, and sophomore Scott Nelson drove a 0-1 pitch to deep left field for the game-winning sacrifice fly.
The Bears got their offense going early in game one, with back-to-back singles by sophomores Austin Darmawan and CJ Price to lead off the bottom of the first inning. The Spalding pitcher was called for a balk to move Darmawan and Price into scoring position, ahead of an RBI groundout by senior Chris Lowery. After Price advanced to third on a passed ball, Kessinger lined a single past the pitcher and into center field to extend WashU's lead to 2-0.
Spalding scored three runs on three hits, including a two-run homer by Blake Patterson, to take a 3-2 lead in the top of the second. The Golden Eagles added to their lead in the top of the third with two runs on four hits to make the score 5-2.
In the bottom of the fourth, senior Brian Cizek led off with a single to left field. With two outs, sophomore Christian Santos drove an RBI double to the gap in left-center. Spalding threw to the plate to try to get Cizek, and Santos ran to third before scoring when the Spalding catcher made a snap throw that got away from the third baseman, bringing the Bears within 5-4. WashU regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth with two runs on three hits. Darmawan led off with a walk and Price followed with a single to left field. Lowery reached on a fielder's choice that got Darmawan out at third, but Kessinger hit a hard single through the right side to score Price from second and tie the game at 5-5. Kozak hit a two-out single to left-center to score Lowery and give WashU the 6-5 advantage.
WashU finished with 12 hits, while Spalding tallied seven. The Bears left seven base runners stranded and hit into two double plays in the game. Kozak finished 3-for-4 with an RBI. Santos, who subbed into the game in the third inning, finished 2-for-2 with a double, RBI and run scored. Kessinger was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Price went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Clarke earned the complete-game victory to improve to 2-1 on the season. He allowed five earned runs on nine hits and a walk, while recording six strikeouts.
GAME TWO – SPALDING 6, WASHU 4
Spalding scored the first five runs of game two on just four hits, taking advantage of three hit batters in the second inning and an error and wild pitch in the fourth. The Bears finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth with a pair of runs on three hits and a walk. Price led off with a double to left-center, before Kessinger drew a one-out walk after an 11-pitch at-bat. Cizek roped a double to right-center to score Price and Kessinger, bringing WashU to within 5-2.
The Bears cut the Spalding lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth. Senior Andrew Goldstick coaxed a one-out walk and Darmawan followed with a single on a hit-and-run that moved Goldstick to third. Price then singled up the middle to score Goldstick, and Lowery hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring the Bears within one run. Spalding added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a one-out RBI single to extend the lead to 6-4.
In the bottom of the eighth, Cizek delivered a one-out single. Kozak looked like he might tie the game with a hard hit to left-center field on the first pitch of his at-bat, but it bounced off the fence for a double that gave WashU runners on second and third. Spalding brought in Chance Brinley to pitch and he got back-to-back called strikeouts to get out of the inning with the Golden Eagles still leading 6-4. Brinley continued to stymy the Bears' batters in the bottom of the ninth, getting two more strikeouts before Price reached on a bunt single. Lowery popped up a pitch on the infield and Price was called out on interference after running into the Spalding second baseman to end the game.
WashU out-hit Spalding 11-9 in the game but the Bears' pitchers issued eight free passes in the game – three hit by pitches and five walks. Darmawan and Price both finished 3-for-5 at the plate to lead WashU, accounting for two runs scored and an RBI. Senior Kunal Patel (3-1) took the loss on the mound for the Bears, allowing five runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings. Senior Dom Quaranta replaced Patel in the fourth and allowed one earned run in 3 1/3 innings of relief. Sophomores Bill Heisler and Matt Clohisy both equaled their career highs with two strikeouts each while pitching the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.
Bear Notebook: WashU is 11-4 this season when scoring the first run of the game … The Bears have recorded double-digit hits in 15 of 25 games this season, including five of the last six … Kessinger's two hits in game one increased his career total to 200, making him the sixth player in school history to reach that mark … Lowery passed Cornell Foggie (1985-88) for seventh on WashU's career RBIs list with 126 … Goldstick played in his 144th and 145th career games, tying him with Dave Huegy (1986-89) for ninth on WashU's career games played list … Kessinger has reached base safely in all 25 games this season, extending his streak to 30 games dating to 2014 … Lowery extended his hitting streak to 20 games before having it come to an end in game two.