Sauget, Ill., May 20, 2016 — The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team had its 2016 season come to an end with a 9-8 loss in 14 innings to No. 14-ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Friday in the 2016 NCAA Division III Central Regional at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill.
WashU ended its season with a 33-18 record, the second most wins in school history. UW-Whitewater improved to 32-15, and will take on Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Saturday at Noon in the Central Regional Championship game.
"We have been focused on finishing, emptying the tank, giving everything you got and investing in the program and putting WashU baseball on the national map," said first-year WashU head coach Pat Bloom. "There is no question that we left a mark on the people across country that we are a serious contender on the national level"
WashU had 11 hits in the loss, and left 11 runners on base. Junior Scott Nelson went 3-for-7 with a run scored and an RBI, while senior Max Golembo was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and was on base five teams. Junior Christian Santos added a 3-for-7 performance with a run scored and three RBIs.
Senior Julian Clarke (6-5), who tossed a complete-game in a 5-1 win over Wartburg College in the first game Friday, took the loss allowing one run in two innings pitched. Junior Brad Margolin allowed two hits with eight strikeouts in six innings of relief. Margolin did not allow a run in 15 innings pitched in the Central Regional.
UW-Whitewater scored a run off WashU junior starter Bill Heisler in the top of the first, but the Bears answered right back in its first at-bat. Golembo singled with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch, and then scored on an RBI single to right by Santos.
The Warhawks answered back with a run in the second on a sole homerun to right by Blake Fleischman. Heisler lasted just two innings allowing two hits and two earned runs.
With freshman Sean Clarke on the mound, WashU put together a rally in the fourth scoring two runs on three hits to take the 3-2 lead. Santos had an RBI double, and then Nelson came up big with a two-out two-RBI single to right.
The lead was short lived for WashU as the Warhawks scored four in the fifth, highlighted by a wind-blown homerun to right by Cal Aldridge.
WashU came back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 6-6. Santos drove in a run with a groundout and then junior Ben Browdy launched a two-out, two RBI double off the right field wall. Browdy finished the season with a school record 79 RBIs.
Freshman John Howard got into trouble in the seventh, and was replaced by Margolin with runners at 2nd and 3rd and no outs. Aldridge greeted Margolin with a two-RBI single to make it 8-6.
With one out in the eighth, senior Kyle Kozak and Nelson singled to get runners at first and second. Sophomore Auggie Mense then ripped a 3-2 pitch to the left center field gap to score Kozak and Nelson to tie the game.
Margolin retired 10-straight batters until the 12th, when the leadoff hitter reached on a throwing error. Margolin got out of a bases loaded jam with a strike out and a line out.
Aldridge hit the game-winning homerun off Clarke in the 14th, as she snuck a ball over the 301-foot fence in right with two outs in the 14th.
WashU's senior class of Julian Clarke, Golembo and Kozak graduated as the winningest school in school history with an overall record of 120-65 (.649). The trio led the Bears to a pair of University Athletic Association (UAA) titles and NCAA Tournament appearances.
"I feel like I have known those three guys for more than a year," Bloom said of his seniors. "That's what happens when you get a total investment and commitment to buying into what you want to do. They set a great example for others."
BEAR NOTEBOOK: The Bears are 6-20 all-time in 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament … Junior Austin Darmawan finished the season with a WashU single-season school record 90 hits … Golembo tied the single-season school record with 41 walks … WashU is 0-3 against UW-Whitewater in NCAA Tournament … Golembo finished second in school history in runs scored (172) and fifth in hits (208) … The Bears set a single-season record with 399 runs scored ... … The Bears were 2-6 against ranked teams.