St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 27, 2019 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team suffered a 6-5 loss to Fontbonne University, in the Wydown Showdown, during its home opener at Kelly Field in a back-and-forth contest with multiple lead changes.
The Bears fell to 1-2 on the season while the Griffins improved to 6-0 on the year. WashU continued its trend of scoring early in contests with three runs in the first inning but a string of four consecutive scoreless Bears frames allowed the Griffins to catch up and take the lead in the fifth.
The Red & Green batted through the order in the first inning while junior first baseman John Brinkman hit a sacrifice fly that scored sophomore right fielder Henry Singer from third. One batter later, freshman shortstop Caleb Durbin grounded out to plate senior Evan Nagel before a two-out single by junior catcher Thomas Gardner scored junior center fielder John Ostrander to give the Bears a 3-0 lead.
Fontbonne began chipping away immediately with runs in the second and third innings. Freshman Jackson Gray got the start on the mound for the Bears and completed two innings with two strikeouts while allowing one run on two hits.
The Griffins took the lead in the fifth inning as they scored two runs on a pair of hits and an error. Sophomore Mitchell Black entered the game with two runners on and struck out the batter to remove the Bears from further trouble as Fontbonne took a 4-3 edge.
Brinkman added another sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to tie the game at 4-4 before sophomore left fielder Johnny LaMantia provided a run scoring two-out single to once again give WashU the lead, 5-4.
Fontbonne executed a small ball eighth inning capitalizing a leadoff single into a run with a bunt to push the runner along before another single knocked in the tying run. The Griffins led the ninth inning off with a single as well and recorded the winning run on a sacrifice fly.
Singer led the Bears with two runs scored in addition to tying the team lead with three stolen bases. Durbin also recorded the first three steals in his career at WashU while he and Gardner were the lone Bears to produce a multi-hit game. Brinkman knocked in a pair of runs.