No. 17 Baseball Splits Pair of Games in Season Opener

Photo by Scott Margolin
Photo by Scott Margolin

Birmingham, Ala., Feb. 25, 2017 – The No. 17-ranked Washington University in St. Louis baseball team opened up the season with an offensive onslaught defeating North Park College 17-9 before the Bears fell in a low scoring 3-1 contest to No. 6 Birmingham-Southern College on Saturday.

The Bears totaled 19 hits on the day including eight extra base hits while the pitching staff held the opposition to nine earned runs. Senior Brad Margolin earned WashU's first victory of the season with seven scoreless innings of three hit ball with one walk and six strikeouts. 

Game 1: No. 17 WashU 17 – North Park 9

Margolin's lone free pass was issued to North Park in the first inning. After getting the initial batter to ground out to senior shortstop Austin Daramawan, North Park reached first base with a walk. A stolen base and single put Vikings on the corners with two outs. Margolin ended the scoring chance by picking off the runner at first base for the final out of the inning. 

WashU took command of the game with six runs in the top of the second inning. Junior Auggie Mense doubled in senior Ted Daley for the game's first run before Darmawan's infield single scored freshman John Brinkman.

Senior Christian Santos advanced the runners with a sac bunt prior to senior Ben Browdy's double to left center that scored both runners to put WashU ahead 4-0. One out later senior catcher Tate Maider sent the ball soaring to deep left center field for his fourth career home run and a 6-0 advantage for the Bears. 

After a three-up, three-down inning from Margolin on the mound, Browdy added three more runs to the Bears lead with a bases clearing double. WashU led 10-0 heading into the bottom of the third after Browdy scored on a fielding error.

Santos made it three straight innings of runs for WashU when he hit a grand slam in the fourth inning to score Darmawan, Daley and sophomore Evan Nagel. Maider and Nagel crossed the plate in the fifth inning as well before two frames of scoreless baseball. 

Margolin worked around a fielding error in the bottom of the seventh and exited the game in the eighth after holding the Vikings off the scoreboard. North Park scored its first two runs of the game and trailed 16-2 heading into the top of the ninth.

Freshman Brian Schutter knocked in his first career run for the Bears with a single to center field that plated freshman Andrew Kleiboeker. The Vikings scored seven runs in the ninth before a grounder to Schutter ended the action. 

Browdy ended the game 4-for-5 with two doubles and five runs batted in while adding two walks. Brinkman was the only other Bear to end the game with multiple hits, going 2-for-6. Daley led the team with three runs scored.

Game 2: No. 6 Birmingham Southern 3 – No. 17 WashU 1 

The Panthers were the first team to strike in the second game of the day for WashU. Birmingham Southern took a 1-0 lead in the third on a leadoff home run by Sam Roberts. Sophomore Zack Kotin pitched a scoreless fourth inning before being replaced by sophomore John Howard in the fifth.

The Panthers scored a single run in both the fifth and sixth for a 3-0 lead until Browdy's one out double down the right field line scored Santos, who reached base on a walk. Two batters later Maider lined a ball into left field for the final out of the frame.

Daley reached base on a throwing error in the ninth but WashU was unable erase the two run deficit, ultimately falling 3-1 to the Panthers. 

Santos, Browdy, junior Conor O'Hara and Daley were the four Bears to finish the game with a hit. Also pitching for the Bears in 0.2 scoreless inning was senior Jake Mintz.

WashU will conclude its weekend action Sunday at 1:30 p.m. against Birmingham Southern. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.