Sauget, Ill., May 18, 2017 – The No. 14-ranked and No. 2 seeded Washington University in St. Louis baseball team fell in a pitcher's duel 3-1 to North Central College Thursday evening in the Bears opening game of the NCAA Division III Tournament at GCS Ballpark.
WashU fell to 26-9 on the year while the Cardinals improved to 26-16. The Bears will play Greenville College Friday at Noon (CT) as both teams lost on day one of the Central Regional in the double elimination format.
The Bears took the lead in the first inning after junior Auggie Mense walked and back-to-back singles by seniors Ben Browdy and Christian Santos loaded the bases. Junior Conor O'Hara knocked in WashU's only run on a fielder's choice.
Senior Brad Margolin held the Cardinals off the scoreboard for the first three innings, including the first inning when he struck out the side. However, North Central tied the score at 1-1 in the fourth with its first three hits of the game.
Senior Tate Maider led the bottom of the fifth inning off with a single and was moved over to second base on a sacrifice bunt by senior first baseman Ted Daley. The Bears scoring opportunity was thwarted when the Cardinals' pitcher fielded a sharply hit ball up the middle by freshman John Brinkman before catching Maider in between second and third base.
WashU nearly took the lead in the seventh inning when Daley turned on an inside pitch and sent it deep into left field on a line. The ball hit the 18-foot high fence as Daley was forced to settle for a single.
North Central scored twice in the eighth inning with four singles. Senior Jake Mintz entered in the eighth inning with two runners on and quickly got the final out of the inning with a groundball.
The Bears fell for only the second time this season after scoring in the first inning. Margolin threw 7 2/3 innings allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out eight and walking no one. It was the first loss of the season for Margolin and only the third time in his career.
Santos and Maider led the Bears with two hits apiece while Mense scored the only run as O'Hara knocked him in.
WashU will face Greenville for the third time this season at 12 p.m. on Friday. The Bears defeated the Panthers both times in 2017 – 11-5 on March 11 and 7-6 on March 22. Greenville fell to No. 1 seed Birmingham Southern 14-6 in the Central Region's first game of the day. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.