Grinnell, Iowa, April 3, 2016 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team dropped game one at Grinnell College 12-6 Sunday, but earned a split of the doubleheader with a 15-8 victory in game two.
WashU improved to 16-11 on the season, while Grinnell is now 12-4. The Bears return to action with a game at Greenville College at 6 p.m. Friday, April 8, in Greenville, Ill., before hosting a doubleheader against Fontbonne University beginning at Noon Saturday, April 9.
GAME ONE: GRINNELL 12, WASHU 6
Grinnell built to a 6-1 lead after three innings behind a pair of two-run homers by starting pitcher Graham Fisher. The Bears scored their first run of the game in the second inning on a two-out single by sophomore Conor O'Hara after junior Ben Browdy led off the inning with a single to left field.
The Pioneers added a run with a solo homerun in the bottom of the fifth to extend the advantage to 7-1. In the top of the seventh, WashU loaded the bases with a leadoff double by senior Kyle Kozak, a single by junior Austin Darmawan and a walk by senior Max Golembo. Junior Scott Nelson drove in Kozak with an RBI single. Darmawan was erased on a double play, but freshman Ethan Kuehl came through with a two-RBI single to right field to pull WashU to within 7-4. The Pioneers put the game out of reach with five runs in the bottom of the eighth, before a two-out, two-RBI double by Browdy in the top of the ninth made the final score 12-6.
Grinnell outhit WashU 14-12 in the game, including four homeruns for the Pioneers. Darmawan finished 3-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Bears offensively. Senior Julian Clarke (2-3) took the loss for the Bears after allowing six runs on five hits in two innings of work. Junior Bill Heisler (four innings, one run, one hit, one strikeout), junior Jake Mintz (one inning, three runs, three hits) and freshman Curtis Hoffman (one inning, two runs, two hits) all threw in relief.
GAME TWO: WASHU 15, GRINNELL 8
Trailing 4-2 after two innings in game two, WashU exploded for eight runs on six hits – four homeruns and two doubles – in the top of the third. Kuehl led off the inning with the first homerun of his career, a solo shot to right field. Kozak was hit by a pitch and junior Tate Maider followed with a double before O'Hara sent a pitch over the left-field fence for a three-run homer to put WashU ahead 6-4. Junior Spencer Egly followed with a solo homerun to center field, the first homer of his career. After Darmawan doubled to left, Golembo drew a walk. Junior Christian Santos reached on a fielder's choice that erased Golembo, but Browdy followed with a three-run homer to extend the Bears' lead to 10-4 before a pair of flyouts ended the inning.
The Pioneers scored three runs in the bottom of the third and added a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Bears' lead to 10-8. WashU put up another crooked number in the top of the seventh, scoring five runs on four hits to make it 15-8. Maider had a two-RBI single, and O'Hara had a two-RBI double and came around to score when Darmawan reached on a two-out error.
WashU outhit Grinnell 18-7 in the game, including a season-high 10 extra-base hits for the Bears. After scoring four runs on four hits in the first inning, Grinnell's offense was shut down by Nelson and junior Matt Clohisy as they combined to allow just three more hits over the next eight innings. Nelson (3-4) earned the win after allowing eight runs on seven hits, while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings. Clohisy picked up his third save of the season with 3 2/3 hitless innings of relief.
Maider went 4-for-6 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored for the Bears. O'Hara was 3-for-6 with a team- and career-high five RBIs and two runs scored. Egly (3-for-5, RBI, run) and Kuehl (3-for-5, two RBIs, two runs) also finished with three hits each. Kuehl and O'Hara each had a homerun and a double in the game for the Bears.
Bear Notebook: Game two was the first time WashU has hit four homeruns in a game since doing so against Westminster College (Mo.) April 6, 2006 … Golembo had his 18-game hitting streak come to an end, but has reached base safely in 22 consecutive games … Golembo scored three runs on the day, increasing his career total to 142, which moved him into a tie with Andy Shields (2004-07) for fourth on WashU's all-time leaderboard.