Baseball Closes Out Three-Game Sweep of Luther in O’Fallon

Photo by Mary Butkus/WUSTL Photos
Photo by Mary Butkus/WUSTL Photos

O'Fallon, Mo., March 10, 2019 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team pieced together timely hits and pitching to conclude a three-game weekend series sweep of Luther College with a 3-2 extra inning win and 8-6 victory Sunday evening at Car Shield Field in O'Fallon, Mo.

WashU improved to 5-2-1 with the two victories Sunday, while dropping Luther to 3-4 on the year. The Bears offense totaled 22 hits during the doubleheader while the pitching staff finished with 18 strikeouts.

GAME 1: WashU 3 – Luther 2 (11 innings)

The first game went into extra innings as the Bears pitching staff held the Norse in check. WashU limited Luther to five hits and just a single earned run.

Sophomore Ryan Loutos pitched a season-long five innings, relinquishing three hits, one walk and one run while striking out six batters. Junior Matt Ashbaugh held the Norse to just one hit in 5.1 innings and one unearned run while also striking out six batters. Sophomore Tim Tague earned the win by getting the final two outs in the 11th inning before WashU's offense capitalized in the bottom half with a walk-off hit.

Sophomore Johnny LaMantia earned a base on balls to lead the inning off as a pinch hitter before advancing to second base on a sac bunt by sophomore lef fielder Sean Robinson. Sophomore Mitchell Black entered the game as a pinch runner and two batters later senior second baseman Evan Nagel sent a drive down the right field line that one hopped the fence for a double which knocked in the winning run.

Nagel knocked the Bears first run of the game in during the third inning. He had an infield single that allowed sophomore third baseman Collin Kahal to score and even the score at 1-1. Junior centerfielder John Ostrander put the Bears up 2-1 in the fifth inning on a liner to left field that scored Nagel.

GAME 2: WashU 8 – Luther 6

WashU quickly worked a gap in the second game as the Bears scored in the second-through-fifth innings. By the time the game entered the fifth inning, the Red & Green had built a 4-0 lead as sophomore right fielder Ty Dalinghaus, LaMantia and freshman catcher Zac Styka produced run scoring hits.

The Norse responded with a two-run fifth which cut the Bears lead in half before Robinson cleared the bases with a line drive double down the left field line in the bottom half to put WashU ahead 7-2. LaMantia, Styka and freshman designated hitter Brendan Hall scored on the play.

Luther trimmed the Bears lead to a single run in the sixth inning before sophomore Rees Viersen induced a ground ball double play to Nagel as WashU clung to a 7-5 advantage.

Freshman Matt Lopes entered in relief of Viersen in the seventh inning with an inherited runner, but maintained the 7-5 score with three straight outs including a strikeout.

Sophomore third baseman John Brinkman provided an insurance run in the bottom half of seventh inning with a liner to left field that scored freshman shortstop Caleb Durbin from second after he doubled. The run proved to be handy as Luther scored one of its own in the eighth before Lopes sent the Norse down in order in the ninth for his first save of his collegiate career.

Viersen earned the win, while several Bears offensive players stood out with multi hit performances. Nagel, Brinkman, Styka and Robinson all finished with two hits apiece. Robinson led WashU with three runs batted in.

WashU travels to Florida for its Spring Break trip and will open competition Wednesday, March 13 at 2:30 p.m. (ET) against Lesley in Kissimmee, Fla. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.