St. Louis, Mo., April 17, 2015 – A week shy of three years to the day after Brandon Rogalski set the career hits record for Washington University in St. Louis baseball, senior Chris Lowery recorded his 217th hit to become the Bears' all-time career hits leader in WashU's 12-7 win over Webster University Friday afternoon at Kelly Field.
Lowery, who entered the game tied with Rogalski atop the leaderboard, recorded his record-breaking hit on a two-RBI single in the fourth inning. The Bears put together one of their best offensive performances of the season, tallying 14 hits, as all nine batters had at least one hit and seven of the nine had at least one RBI in the win.
Webster took a 2-0 lead after scoring one run in each of the first two innings. The Bears were held without a hit until the bottom of the third. Senior Andrew Goldstick hit a one-out single and junior Max Golembo laced a single over the shortstop. The Gorloks center fielder misplayed the ball, allowing Goldstick to score on the play and Golembo slid safely into third. Sophomore Austin Darmawan hit a sacrifice fly to score Golembo and tie the game at 2-2. Lowery reached on an error by the shortstop, before senior Zack Kessinger doubled to the gap in left-center, scoring Lowery to give the Bears a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, junior Kyle Kozak and sophomore Christian Santos both reached on errors by the Webster shortstop to put runners on first and second with one out. Goldstick reached on a catcher's interference to load the bases, and Golembo and Darmawan hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it 5-2 in favor of the Bears. Lowery then lined his record-breaking single past the second baseman to score two runs and extend the lead to 7-2.
WashU added a run in the bottom of the fifth when sophomore CJ Price led off with a double and Kozak singled to right-center field to make it 8-2. After giving up a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth, junior Julian Clarke retired 12 of the next 14 batters he faced. The top of the Gorloks' order got to Clarke in the top of the eighth with back-to-back one-out singles before Kyle Uhrich hit a high fly ball that barely cleared the left-field fence for a three-run homer to cut WashU's lead to 8-5.
Golembo led off the bottom of the eighth with a double to deep center field and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. After the fifth pitching change of the game for Webster, Lowery was intentionally walked and stole second before Kessinger hit an RBI single up the middle to make the score 9-5. Price followed with a two-RBI double that regained the Bears' six-run lead. After Kozak reached on the fourth error of the game by the Webster shortstop, senior Brandon Deger hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Price and extend the lead to 12-5. The Gorloks got a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to pull to within 12-7, but Clarke got the designated hitter to fly out to center field to seal the win for the Bears.
Both teams finished with 14 hits in the game, but WashU took advantage of seven Webster errors to score seven unearned runs in the game. Golembo finished 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored to lead the Bears offensively. Darmawan (2-for-3, two RBIs), Kessinger (2-for-5, two RBIs, run) and Price (2-for-5, two RBIs, two runs) added two hits each, while Lowery finished 1-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs. Clarke recorded his second complete game of the season to improve to 3-2. He allowed seven runs on 14 hits and two walks, while striking out one.
WashU improved to 21-11 with the win and snapped the Gorloks' 11-game win streak as they dropped to 21-9. The Bears return to action with a three-game series against the University of Chicago slated for Saturday-Sunday, April 18-19, at Kelly Field. Saturday's doubleheader begins at 11 a.m., while the first pitch of Sunday's single game is scheduled for Noon. Following game two Saturday, WashU will recognize its 10 seniors for Senior Day.
Bear Notebook: WashU improved to 1-2 against Webster this season … The Bears recorded double-digit hits for the 19th time this season, and fourth time in the last five games … WashU turned a season-high four double plays in the game … With his two hits, Kessinger moved into a tie for third with Kyle Billig (2011-14) on the Bears' all-time career leaderboard with 210 … Kessinger also tied Lowery and Billig for seventh on the WashU career doubles list with the 38th of his career … It was the first multiple-RBI game of Darmawan's career … Deger and Goldstick both extended their hitting streaks to six games … Kessinger has reached base safely in all 32 games this season, and has a 37-game reached base streak dating to April 30, 2014.