St. Louis, Mo., May 2, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team finished its regular-season home schedule by splitting a pair of seven-inning games against Greenville College Saturday afternoon at Kelly Field. The Bears rallied for a 10-6 win in game one, but the Panthers picked up a 1-0 win in game two.
With the victory in game one, WashU reached 30 wins in a season for just the fifth time in school history and the first time since 2007. The Bears are now 30-14 overall, while Greenville is 19-18. WashU concludes its regular-season schedule with a three-game series at the University of Chicago Friday-Saturday, May 8-9. The two teams will play a single game beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, before squaring off in a doubleheader beginning at Noon Saturday.
GAME ONE – WASHU 10, GREENVILLE 6
After erasing a five-run deficit to tie the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the fourth, WashU plated four runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth to take its first lead of game one. Junior Max Golembo led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Austin Darmawan. Senior Chris Lowery then singled up the middle to drive in his fifth run of the game and give the Bears a 7-6 lead. After Lowery stole second and third, senior Zack Kessinger drew a four-pitch walk. Sophomore CJ Price then drove a pitch deep to the gap in left-center field, and the ball rolled to the fence for a two-RBI triple. A soft groundout by senior Brandon Deger scored Price to extend the Bears' lead to 10-6, and junior Julian Clarke retired all three batters he faced in the top of the seventh to seal the comeback win for WashU.
Greenville got on the scoreboard first in the game with a two-out RBI double in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead. The Bears answered in the bottom of the inning when Price led off with a triple to deep center field. Deger tied the game with a single to shallow left field. The Panthers then strung together five hits and a walk with one out in the top of the third inning, scoring five runs to take a 6-1 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Golembo hit the first pitch he saw through the left side for a single, and Darmawan followed with a first-pitch single to left-center. After a couple pickoff attempts to first, Lowery crushed the first pitch of his at-bat over the left-field fence for a three-run homer that cut Greenville's lead to 6-4. Senior Andrew Goldstick and Golembo led off the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back singles. Darmawan reached on a fielder's choice, but Goldstick was called out at third on the play. After a double steal moved Golembo and Darmawan to second and third, Lowery drove in Golembo on an RBI groundout. Kessinger then delivered a two-out RBI single up the middle to tie the game at 6-6.
WashU outhit Greenville 15-8 in the game, and allowed just one hit by the Panthers after the third inning. The Bears also had seven stolen bases in the contest. Price finished 4-for-4 with two triples, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Golembo was 3-for-4 with three runs. Lowery was 2-for-4 with a homerun, five RBIs and two runs scored, and Darmawan went 2-for-3 and scored two runs.
Clarke (5-2) earned the win after pitching four scoreless innings of relief, recording five strikeouts and allowing just one hit and one walk. Sophomore Scott Nelson made the start for the Bears, allowing six runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings, while sophomore Bill Heisler struck out the only batter he faced to end the third inning before Clarke took over.
GAME TWO – GREENVILLE 1, WASHU 0
Game two proved to be a pitching duel as both teams were limited to five hits in the game. The Bears got two runners on with two outs in each of the third and fourth innings, but both innings ended with flyouts to keep the game scoreless. Greenville got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth, scoring the lone run on a two-out single to take a 1-0 lead.
WashU had a chance to tie in the bottom of the inning when sophomore Christian Santos lined a single just over the Panthers' leaping third baseman to start the inning and Golembo drew a one-out walk. Both moved into scoring position with two outs, but a foul popup to the Greenville second baseman ended the threat.
Senior Max Zhang (4-3) took the loss on the mound, despite allowing one run on just five hits while striking out six batters in his second straight complete-game effort. Offensively, five different batters recorded hits for the Bears in the loss.
Bear Notebook: Three WashU single-season records were broken during the doubleheader – Lowery set records for RBIs (65) and at-bats (181), both previously held by Brandon Rogalski, while Kessinger set the record for putouts in a season (356), previously held by Eddy Hoering … Kessinger moved into a tie with Andy Shields (2005-07) for second on WashU's all-time career RBIs list with 153 … It was Zhang's 49th career pitching appearance, tying him with Tim Otten (1988-91) and Jason French (1991-94) for second on WashU's career games pitched list … Kessinger has started all 168 career games played for the Bears, tying Kyle Billig (2011-14) for first on WashU's career games played list … With hits in both games, Kessinger extended his streak of reaching base safely to 49 consecutive games, dating to April 30, 2014 … Golembo has reached base safely in 25 games in a row, while Goldstick has reached safely in the last 18 … Goldstick extended his hitting streak to nine straight games … Game one was Price's second four-hit performance in the last four games.