St. Louis, Mo., April 12, 2015 – Senior Chris Lowery hit a walkoff homerun to give the Washington University in St. Louis baseball team a 7-5 win over Grinnell College in game one, but the Bears were shutout in game two of the doubleheader as Grinnell won 4-0 Sunday afternoon at Kelly Field.
WashU is now 19-10 overall, while Grinnell is 9-12. The Bears are scheduled to play six games next week, beginning with a road game against Webster University at 7 p.m. Tuesday at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill. WashU then travels to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, to take on Iowa Wesleyan College Wednesday, before returning home for four games Friday-Sunday.
GAME ONE – WASHU 7, GRINNELL 5
With the score tied 3-3, Grinnell took advantage of a pair of errors by WashU to score two unearned runs and take a 5-3 lead in the top of the eighth. The Bears answered in the bottom of the inning when Lowery led off with a single through the left side and senior Zack Kessinger lined a single to shallow left-center to start the inning. Senior Brian Cizek reached on a sharply hit ball to the shortstop, scoring Lowery from second and allowing Kessinger to advance to third. Sophomore Austin Darmawan reached on a bunt single that scored Kessinger on the squeeze to tie the game. Junior Kyle Kozak drove a ball to the warning track, and the Grinnell left fielder had it pop out of his glove to load the bases for the Bears with no outs. After a pitching change for the Pioneers, they got a fielder's choice and a double play to keep WashU from scoring the go-ahead run.
Sophomore Matt Clohisy gave up a leadoff single in the top of the ninth, and that runner reached third after a sacrifice bunt and a groundout before Clohisy got Steven Petritis to strike out to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, junior Max Golembo hit a leadoff single up the middle, before Lowery blasted the first pitch he saw deep over the left-field fence for the one-out walkoff homer to give WashU the 7-5 victory.
WashU took its first lead of the weekend with three runs on four hits in the bottom of the second inning. Cizek led off with a single over the shortstop and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Darmawan. After Cizek advanced to third on a groundout, Grinnell's pitcher was called for a balk to give WashU a 1-0 lead. Senior Brandon Deger lined a double to left-center field and senior Andrew Goldstick followed with a single deep in the hole on the right side of the infield, scoring Deger from second to make it 2-0. Golembo then roped a double down the left-field line with Goldstick running, and he came around to score to extend the Bears' lead to 3-0.
The Pioneers got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth when Graham Fisher hit a one-out double, before scoring on a wild pitch to cut WashU's lead to 3-1. Grinnell took advantage of a pair of walks, and a two-out bloop single to right field brought the Pioneers within 3-2 in the top of the fifth. Fisher drove a double off the fence in left-center to start the sixth inning, and came around to score the tying run on an RBI single to make it 3-3.
WashU finished with 14 hits in the game, including four for extra bases, while Grinnell totaled nine hits in the game. Lowery finished 4-for-5 with a double, homerun, two RBIs and two runs scored. Golembo was 3-for-5 with a double, run and RBI, while Darmawan (2-for-3, RBI) and Cizek (2-for-4, run, RBI) added two hits each.
Senior Kunal Patel pitched 7 1/3 solid innings for the Bears in his seventh start of the season. He scattered seven hits and two walks, allowing four runs, including one unearned and striking out two. Senior Ian Kelso pitched 2/3 of an inning of relief, allowing an unearned run on one hit, before Clohisy (2-0) earned the win with a scoreless ninth inning.
GAME TWO – GRINNELL 4, WASHU 0 (7 innings)
WashU was unable to build on its momentum from the first game as the Bears were stymied offensively and shut out for the first time since March 16, 2012. Grinnell broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth with a one-out solo homerun by Matt Godinsky that made it 1-0. In the top of the sixth, the Pioneers got two runners on with back-to-back two-out singles before Fisher launched a three-run homer over the left-field fence to extend their lead to 4-0.
The Bears were limited to just three hits through the first six innings, before a one-out walk by Kessinger and a single by Kozak. Deger then hit a hard single to third to load the bases with two outs, but a groundout to the shortstop ended the game.
Grinnell finished with six hits in the game, compared with five for the Bears. Freshman Liam Cotter (2-2) took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits and two walks, while recording four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings of work. Sophomore Bill Heisler replaced Cotter in the sixth inning, and equaled his career-high with a pair of strikeouts in 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Bear Notebook: The Bears, who entered the week ranked fifth in NCAA Division III in stolen bases this season, had just one steal in the four-game series against Grinnell … Lowery's walkoff homerun was the first for the Bears since Andrew Dwoskin's three-run homer in a 7-4 win over Blackburn College April 27, 2014 … Kelso has not allowed an earned run in his last four relief appearances … Lowery passed Kyle Billig (2011-14) for second on WashU's all-time hits leaderboard with 212, while Kessinger moved into a tie for fifth with Andy Shields (2004-07) with 202 … Kessinger has reached base safely in all 29 games this season and has a 34-game reached base streak dating to April 30, 2014.