Chicago, Ill., May 9, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team finished the regular season by earning a doubleheader sweep in a pair of seven-inning games at the University of Chicago Saturday afternoon. The Bears scored the game-winning run in the top of the seventh to take game one 5-4, then exploded for 12 first-inning runs to win the regular-season finale 13-1.
WashU finished the regular season with a 33-14 overall record, one win shy of the single-season school record, while Chicago ended its season with an 18-20 record. The Bears will await an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship. The tournament field will be announced at 11 p.m. Sunday on NCAA.com.
GAME ONE – WASHU 5, CHICAGO 4
Chicago struck first, turning a leadoff single into a run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning for a 1-0 lead. The Maroons added two more unearned runs in the bottom of the second to extend their lead to 3-0. In the top of the third, junior Max Golembo drew a one-out walk and sophomore Austin Darmawan followed with the Bears' first hit of the game, a single through the right side. Senior Chris Lowery then reached on an error that allowed Golembo to score. A single by senior Zack Kessinger loaded the bases, but Chicago turned an inning-ending double play to head to the bottom of the inning with a 3-1 lead.
WashU got another run in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Senior Brian Cizek led off with a double to left field and senior Andrew Goldstick delivered a two-out RBI single through the left side to make the score 3-2 in favor of Chicago. In the bottom of the inning, the Maroons got the bases loaded with one out, but senior Max Zhang got an out at home on a fielder's choice, then got the leadoff batter to groundout to Goldstick at shortstop to keep it a one-run game.
Golembo led off the top of the fifth with a single up and middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Darmawan. Lowery got an infield single and stole second to put two runners in scoring position for WashU. Kessinger then singled to score Golembo, tying the game before a sacrifice fly by sophomore CJ Price scored Lowery to put the Bears ahead 4-3. Chicago answered in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out RBI single that tied the game at 4-4. The Maroons then got back-to-back singles, but Lowery threw out the go-ahead run at the plate to end the inning with the score still tied.
The score remained 4-4 until the top of the seventh when Lowery hit a one-out single to left field. After stealing second, Lowery came around the score the eventual game-winning run on a two-out single through the left side by Price that made it 5-4 in favor of WashU.
The Bears finished with 10 hits in the game, while Chicago had nine. Lowery (2-for-4, two runs), Kessinger (2-for-4, RBI) and Cizek (2-for-3, double, run) had two hits each, while Price finished 1-for-3 with a team-high two RBIs. WashU also had five stolen bases in the contest.
Zhang allowed four runs, including two unearned, on six hits in 4 2/3 innings of work. Sophomore Brad Margolin (3-0) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to get the win, while sophomore Matt Clohisy closed out the final two outs in the bottom of the seventh to break the WashU single-season record with his eighth save.
GAME TWO – WASHU 13, CHICAGO 1
The Bears equaled their hit total from game one in the first inning of game two, sending 16 batters to the plate to score 12 runs on 10 hits in the inning. Chicago got on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the first, but junior Julian Clarke got a strikeout to end the inning with WashU leading 12-1. An RBI single by Goldstick in the top of the fourth again made it a 12-run lead for the Bears, and neither team scored in the final three innings as WashU finished with the 13-1 victory.
WashU outhit Chicago 13-7 in the game, including at least one hit and one RBI for each of the Bears' nine starters. Lowery, Kessinger and Deger all finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Goldstick was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Clarke allowed one run on five hits, while striking out three in three innings of work. Senior Kunal Patel (5-1) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief, while seniors Dom Quaranta and Ian Kelso and junior Spencer Neal also pitched one scoreless inning apiece.
Bear Notebook: WashU finished 12-1 in road games during the regular season … The Bears recorded double-digit hits in 29 games, and scored 10 or more runs in 14 games … WashU has scored 359 runs this season, which is three shy of the single-season school record … Lowery increased his single-season school record hits total to 81 … Kessinger reached base safely in all 47 regular-season games, and has a 52-game reached base streak dating to April 30, 2014 … Zhang's start in game one was his 50th career pitching appearance for the Bears, the second-most in school history … Lowery had two steals in game one, moving him past Brian Britson (1989-92) and Graham McBride (1999-02) into ninth on WashU's career stolen bases list with 37 … Golembo reached base safely in all 28 games he played during the regular season.