WashU Closes Out Sweep of Brandeis in Exciting Fashion

Photo by Mary Butkus/WUSTL Photos
Photo by Mary Butkus/WUSTL Photos
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St. Louis, Mo., April 28, 2018 – Washington University in St. Louis baseball celebrated senior day with a pair of victories to close out a four-game sweep of Brandeis University with a 7-5 victory prior to an 8-7 walk off win Saturday at Kelly Field.

The Bears concluded the regular season with an overall record of 21-14, with a 10-6 mark in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. Brandeis ended Saturday with a mark of 3-25 (1-15 UAA). WashU finished with 12 hits apiece in each game of the doubleheader as the Bears lone senior, Auggie Mense, tallied three of the Red & Green's 24 hits on the day.

Game 1: WashU 7 – Brandeis 5

WashU quickly worked its way to the lead against Brandeis. Freshman Henry Singer drove in one of three runners in the game during the first when he beat out an infield single to plate junior Evan Nagel.

Mense added to the Bear lead in the second inning with a single that snuck through the right side. Sophomore John Ostrander scored on the hit after stealing second base, one of seven steals for WashU in the game. Sophomore Thomas Gardner knocked in Mense with a liner to left field before freshman Johnny LaMantia hit a sacrifice fly to increase the Bears lead to 4-0 after two innings.

Singer picked up two more RBI in the fourth inning with a single to right field. Sophomore John Brinkman and Gardner scored on the play after previously singling in the frame. WashU led 6-0 after four innings of play.

Sophomore Matt Ashbaugh held the Judges scoreless after four innings of work but was relieved in the fifth innings after walking his sixth batter of the game. In four innings of work, he allowed four hits while striking out five batters.

Freshman Tim Tague entered in relief to pitch three innings while striking out five to earn his fifth victory of the year. Despite a shaky sixth inning, Tague kept the Bears ahead 6-4 by inducing a pair of outs with a runner in scoring position.

The Bears and Judges traded runs in the next two frames to make the score 7-5 before Brinkman closed out the final 1.2 frames without allowing a run for his first save of the season. Brinkman fanned two batters.

Gardner led the Bears with a 3-for-4 day at the plate while Singer added three RBI. Nagel and Brinkman also scored two runs apiece for WashU.

Game 2: WashU 8 – Brandeis 7

Brandeis took its first lead of the series in game two on a base hit by Isaac Fossas in the first inning. The Judges also tacked on three additional runs in the third inning for a 4-0 lead before the Bears were able to score a run of their own.

Ostrander doubled down the left field line, advanced to third on a grounder by sophomore Brian Schutter and scored on a ground ball by freshman Collin Kahal. Kahal's RBI chipped away at the Judges lead as the Bears trailed 4-1.

The Bears big inning came in the fifth inning when the Brandeis starter Bradley Bousquet was relieved by Mason Newman. Kahal, Mense and Nagel singled to load the bases and were cashed in by LaMantia with a well placed ball into left centerfield. Freshman Sean Robinson followed with a line drive past the Judges right fielder that bounced to the wall for a run scoring triple, which pushed WashU ahead 5-4.

WashU appeared in control of the game when LaMantia and Schutter knocked in additional runs in the seventh and eighth innings. The Bears led 7-4 entering the ninth inning, but Brandeis rallied with three consecutive well placed hits in the ninth to load the bases.

Brinkman struck out a batter before a sacrifice fly had the Bears one-out away from victory, but Brandeis added two more runs on a hit and hit-by-pitch to even the score at 7-7. Freshman Troy Bauer entered the game in the ninth with runners still in scoring position and struck out a pinch hitter to keep the game tied.

Bauer also became the hero of game two with the bat in the bottom half of the ninth. With the bases loaded and one-down in the ninth inning, Bauer drove a ball on a line to right field to score Nagel from third for a walk-off victory.

Mense, Nagel, LaMantia, Robinson and Ostrander each totaled two hits apiece while Nagel finished with a game-high three runs scored. Bauer earned the victory by striking out one-batter in the ninth and knocking in the game-winner with the first hit of his collegiate career.

The Bears will learn their NCAA Tournament fate in the coming weeks as conference tournaments wrap up and the NCAA selection committee picks the remaining Pool B and Pool C teams. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.