St. Louis, Mo., March 25, 2016 – After giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning, the Washington University in St. Louis baseball team scored two runs in the bottom of the inning and a walkoff single by junior Austin Darmawan lifted the Bears to a 9-8 win over Illinois Wesleyan University Friday afternoon at Kelly Field.
WashU improved to 14-8 overall with the win, while Illinois Wesleyan dropped to 6-7. The two teams will complete their three-game series with a doubleheader beginning at Noon Saturday, March 26, at Kelly Field.
The Bears built a 6-2 lead after six innings, but saw that lead erased with a four-run seventh inning by Illinois Wesleyan, including a pair of unearned runs for the Titans to tie the game at 6-6. The Bears regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh when Darmawan led off with an infield single and stole second and third before scoring on a delayed steal of home to make it 7-6. The Titans turned a leadoff walk into the tying run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth and neither team scored in the ninth to send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the 10th, Illinois Wesleyan again took advantage of a leadoff walk, taking the lead for the first time in five innings on a two-out RBI single. Freshman Ethan Kuehl hit a one-out, pinch-hit double to center field. Juniors Tate Maider and Spencer Egly drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Senior Kyle Kozak then coaxed a walk to tie the game, and Darmawan laced a single past the shortstop and into left field to end the game.
Illinois Wesleyan scored one run each in the second and fourth innings to take a 2-1 lead. The Bears broke the game open with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore Conor O'Hara led off with a single up the middle and junior Ben Browdy followed with an RBI double to left center. Freshman Wright Lindgren and Egly hit back-to-back singles, giving WashU its first lead of the game at 3-2. After Kozak drew a walk to load the bases, senior Max Golembo hit a two-out RBI single and Kozak came around to score on an error on the play to extend the lead to 5-2. A sacrifice fly by Egly made it 6-2 in favor of the Bears in the bottom of the sixth.
WashU equaled its season-high with 17 hits in the game, including five doubles, while Illinois Wesleyan finished with 13 hits. Darmawan (3-for-7, RBI, run) and Lindgren (3-for-5, run) led 10 Bears with hits in the game.
Freshman Sean Clarke (1-0) became the ninth pitcher to earn a win for WashU this season. He recorded one strikeout and allowed one hit in an inning of relief. Junior Brad Margolin threw seven innings in his sixth start of the season for the Bears, allowing six runs, four earned, while striking out three. Sophomore Alex Truss pitched two innings of relief, allowing two runs on two hits.
Bear Notebook: It was the second time this season WashU has given up the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th, only to win in a walkoff in the bottom of the inning … The Bears improved to 6-0 at home this season … Golembo's single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 15 games … Lindgren recorded his fifth multi-hit performance in the Bears' last six games … Darmawan's three steals brought his career total to 41, moving him into a tie for eighth with Jack Brozman (1970-72) on WashU's all-time leaderboard … Clarke has not allowed an earned run in 6.2 innings of relief this season.