Sauget, Ill., May 20, 2017 – The No. 14 Washington University in St. Louis baseball team held Wartburg College to just three hits in 12-innings of play but the Bears ultimately fell 1-0 to the Knights during the NCAA Division III Baseball Central Region elimination game at GCS Ballpark Saturday afternoon.
The Bears concluded their season with a record of 27-10, while Wartburg remained alive for a nightcap game against No. 6 Birmingham Southern College. WashU had seven hits but left 12 runners stranded as it was shut out for the first time this season.
Senior Scott Nelson started the game for WashU on the mound and allowed just one single in nine innings of work while walking one compared to two strikeouts. He pitched to contact and the Bears defense committed zero errors in addition to several diving catches to rob multiple Knights of hits.
Freshman John Brinkman made a diving catch on a liner down the third base line off the bat of Wartburg's Cody Hyler in the second. Senior Ted Daley led the third inning off with a single before advancing to second base on a bunt by sophomore Ethan Kuehl, but WashU was unable to advance him any further.
WashU senior second baseman Ben Browdy led off the fourth with a hit-by-pitch, the third time the Bears leadoff batter reached base. Brinkman also singled in the inning but three fielder's choices left WashU off the scoreboard.
Mense made a diving catch in the fourth inning and carried the momentum into the fifth with a single, as the Bears loaded the bases with two outs but remained without a run.
The closest WashU came to scoring a run was in the top of the sixth inning. Senior Tate Maider reached base on a hit-by-pitch before a sac bunt off the bat of junior Conor O'Hara put him in scoring position for Daley. Daley delivered with a single to right field but as Maider attempted to score on the play the right fielder's throw from the Knights beat him by a couple of steps to preserve the 0-0 tie.
Nelson retired his final nine batters in order, pitching threw nine innings before being relieved by senior Jake Mintz in extra innings. Mintz quickly found himself in a jam after hitting back-to-back Knights and was relieved by senior Matt Clohisy.
Clohisy worked out of the jam as he instinctively got the lead runner at third base on a sac bunt attempt for the first out of the 10th. He got the next batter to fly out to O'Hara in centerfield and one batter later ended the scoring threat with a strikeout.
The Bears final scoring chance came in the top of the 12th inning when Darmawan reached base on a throwing error by the shortstop. He advanced to second on a sac bunt but was unable to score the first run of the game.
Missing out on the scoring chance proved to be the Bears demise, as Wartburg crossed the plate in the bottom of the 12th on a walk-off fielder's choice by Mike Brown. Senior Brad Margolin was saddled with the hard luck loss after relieving Clohisy in the 12th.
Darmawan and Daley led the Bears with multi hit performances. The final two hits of Darmawan's career pushed his total to 203 and up the WashU leaderboard to seventh all-time in career hits past Andy Shields (2004-07).