Washington U. Baseball Rallies For 5-4 Win Over No. 24 Illinois Wesleyan in 10 Innings
St. Louis, Mo., March 22, 2013 – Sophomore Zack Kessinger slid safely under the tag at home plate on a sacrifice fly by senior Kevin Paule to score the game-winning run for the Washington University in St. Louis baseball team in the Bears’ 5-4 win over No. 24-ranked Illinois Wesleyan University Friday afternoon.
Trailing 4-3 heading to the bottom of the ninth, Washington U. scored a run on three hits to send the game to extra innings. Junior Andrew Dwoskin had a pinch-hit one-out double to the gap in deep left-center field to start the rally for the Bears. After sophomore Brian Cizek drew a walk, sophomore Andrew Goldstick lined a single over the second baseman to load the bases. Junior Kyle Billig then hit a two-out single through the left side to drive in the game-tying run before a strikeout ended the inning.
In the top of the 10th, Illinois Wesleyan got back-to-back two-out singles, which led to runners on second and third, but sophomore Max Zhang got Matt Workman to strike out looking to finish the Titans in the inning. Sophomore Zack Kessinger led off the bottom of the 10th with a single, before freshman Kyle Kozak drew a walk. Senior Matthew Polites laid down a bunt, which IWU pitcher Nick Mehn threw to third, but Kessinger slid in safely to load the bases for the Bears. Mehn got a called strikeout, but Paule hit a high fly ball to right field and Kessinger slid under the tag at home to score the winning run for Washington U. on the pinch-hit sacrifice fly.
Illinois Wesleyan scored two runs on three hits in the top of the first to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The score remained 2-0 until the top of the fourth when the Titans added two more runs to extend their lead to 4-0. Washington U. quickly answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Freshman Max Golembo led off the Bears’ fourth with a single up the middle, and advanced to third when Illinois Wesleyan pitcher Matt Hart sailed a throw to first on a pickoff attempt. Billig hit an RBI groundout to second to score Golembo. Kessinger and Kozak hit back-to-back two-out doubles, and sophomore Brandon Deger hit an RBI single to bring the Bears to within 4-3. The score remained 4-3 in favor of the Titans until Billig’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.
Zhang (1-0) picked up the win for Washington U., recording two strikeouts in one inning of work. Sophomore Dom Quaranta made the start for the Bears. He allowed four runs, including one unearned, on 10 hits and recorded four strikeouts in seven innings of work. Senior Ryan Furtick also recorded a strikeout in two scoreless innings of relief. Goldstick, Kessinger and sophomore Chris Lowery each went 2-for-5 at the plate to lead nine Washington U. players who recorded hits.
Washington U. (10-6) returns to action with a pair of home games Saturday. The Bears take on St. Norbert College at 12:45 p.m., before another game against Illinois Wesleyan at 3:30 p.m. St. Norbert and Illinois Wesleyan will square off in the first game of the day, scheduled for 10 a.m. at Kelly Field.
Bear Notebook: Each of the past three games between Washington U. and Illinois Wesleyan have been decided by one run (IWU won 2-1 April 24, 2012; IWU won 3-2 May 17, 2012) … It was the second extra-inning win for Washington U. this season – the Bears also earned a 3-2 win in 10 innings over then-No. 10 Webster University Feb. 23 … Washington U. recorded double-digit hits for the 10th time this season … Five of the Bears’ 12 hits were doubles … Kessinger extended his hitting streak to 11 games.