Brinkman Leads No. 20 WashU Past Luther in Series Opener

Photo by Scott Margolin
Photo by Scott Margolin

St. Louis, Mo., March 4, 2017 — Freshman John Brinkman laced a bases clearing triple in the fifth to deep left field that put the No. 20-ranked Washington University in St. Louis baseball team up for good in a 14-7 victory over Luther College Saturday in the opening game of a three-game series at Kelly Field in St. Louis.

Brinkman was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a pair of runs scored in the victory. WashU recorded 15 hits and broke open the game with six runs in the fifth.

WashU improved to 3-2 on the season while handing the Norse their first loss of the year (2-1). The Bears have exceeded 10 hits in four of five games and scored more than 10 runs in each of their victories. 

Luther jumped out in front in the first inning after senior Brad Margolin allowed a two-run homerun Joe Silversmith. Margolin settled down and retired five of the next six batters. 

WashU cut the lead in half with a run in the second on a sac fly by senior Tate Maider, but Luther put together a two-out rally in the third scoring three runs to make it 5-1.

The Bears answered right back in the bottom of the third after senior Austin Darmawan and junior Auggie Mense led off the inning with singles and then came around to score following a double by senior Ben Browdy.

The Norse extended their lead to 6-3 entering the bottom of the fifth before the Bears' bats heated up. In the bottom half of the fifth, WashU turned the tables on Luther going from a three-run deficit to a three-run lead.

Mense led things off with a walk before senior Ben Browdy singled and senior Ted Daley was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brinkman had the big hit of the inning for WashU, clearing the bases with a triple to left. Junior Conor O'Hara and Maider also knocked in runs of their own in the inning.

The Norse loaded the bases in the seventh and had the potential game-winning run at the plate when junior Jake Mintz got a ground ball to end the threat. In the eighth, the Norse loaded the bases against Mintz but senior Bill Heisler got three pop-ups while giving up just one run. Heisler closed out the ninth inning with two strikeouts in the Bears 14-7 win. 

The Bears also scored in the eighth when Santos and Brinkman reached base on back-to-back hit-by-pitches and a double steal put them both in scoring position. Freshman John Ostrander cashed in the runs for the Bears with a single to left field.

Both Brinkman and Darmawan led the Bears with three hits apiece while Brinkman had a game-high three RBI. Browdy, Maider and Ostrander each knocked in multiple runs for WashU too as eight of the Bears starters scored at least one run.

Margolin (2-0) picked up the win allowing nine hits and six earned runs in six innings pitched. He also struck out four and walked one.

The Bears return to action tomorrow in a doubleheader against the Norse starting at 12 p.m. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

BEAR NOTEBOOK: Browdy is five RBI shy of 100 for his career.