St. Louis, Mo., April 30, 2014 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team earned a 3-1 win in seven innings over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in game one, then got a walkoff single by junior Stewart Martens to win game two 6-5 as the Bears extended their win streak to 10 games with a doubleheader sweep of the Fightin' Engineers Wednesday afternoon at Kelly Field.
Washington U. improved to 26-15 on the season and finished with an 18-3 record in the month of April. Rose-Hulman dropped to 21-15 on the season with the losses. The Bears conclude their regular-season schedule with a three-game series at the University of Chicago May 9-10. The teams will play a single game at 3 p.m. May 9, before squaring off in a doubleheader beginning at Noon May 10.
Graduate student Stephen Bonser pitched the 20th complete game of his career and junior Chris Lowery went 3-for-3 with two RBIs to lead Washington U. to the win in game one. The Bears led 4-3 in game two after a solo homerun by junior Zack Kessinger in the bottom of the eighth, but gave up a pair of unearned runs in the top of the ninth as Rose-Hulman took advantage of a two-out error by the Bears to take a 5-4 lead. Senior Kyle Billig tied the Washington University all-time record with his 14th-career triple and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game, before Martens came through with a one-out single to drive in the game-winning run for the Bears.
GAME ONE – Washington U. 3, Rose-Hulman 1 (7 innings)
The Bears got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning when freshman CJ Price drew a one-out walk and Kessinger followed with a single to left-center field. Lowery then lined a singled past the shortstop to score Price from second and give the Bears a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Kessinger and Lowery hit back-to-back one-out singles and Billig lined a hit to right field to extend the lead to 2-0. The Fightin' Engineers trimmed Washington U.'s lead to 2-1 after turning a leadoff triple into a run in the top of the fifth. With runners on first and second and one out, Bonser got a called strikeout, then sophomore Kyle Kozak picked off the runner at second to get out of the inning with the one-run lead.
Washington U. got the run back in the bottom of the inning to make it a 3-1 lead. Price led off with a single and advanced to third on an error when Kessinger grounded out to first. Lowery got his third single of the game to score Price and make it a two-run game.
Bonser earned the win, allowing one run on six hits, while striking out four. He improved to 3-1 on the season and earned his 22nd career win, fifth on Washington U.'s all-time career leaderboard. The Bears outhit Rose-Hulman 11-6 in the game. Kozak was 3-for-3 with two doubles, and Lowery also went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs to lead Washington U. offensively.
GAME TWO – Washington U. 6, Rose-Hulman 5
Washington U. took the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Kessinger sent a high fly ball over the right-field fence for a two-out solo homerun to make the score 4-3 in favor of the Bears. It was Kessinger's first homer of the season and third of his career. In the top of the ninth, Rose-Hulman got a leadoff single, but Washington U. got a foul popup and a groundout. The Fightin' Engineers scored the game-tying run on a two-out throwing error by the Bears, and took the lead on a bases-loaded walk to make the score 5-4 before a popup ended the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Billig hit his record-tying one-out triple to right-center field and scored on a wild pitch that went to the backstop to tie the game at 5-5. Deger reached second base when Rose-Hulman's shortstop was unable to field his sharply hit grounder and the ball rolled deep into left-center field. Senior Dylan Reid pinch ran for Deger and the Fightin' Engineers intentionally walked Kozak to bring up Martens, who lined a single to center field to score Reid from second and win the game for the Bears.
Washington U. took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Kessinger hit a two-out single to right, and scored from first on a double to the fence in center field by Lowery. The Fightin' Engineers took their first lead of the day with a pair of runs on three hits and had the bases loaded, but a strikeout and caught stealing ended the top of the third with Rose-Hulman leading 2-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Price reached on a one out walk and Lowery got his fifth hit of the day with a two-out RBI single to tie the game at 2-2. The Bears got the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, but a sharply hit liner to shortstop ended the inning with the score still tied.
Rose-Hulman regained the lead with an unearned run in the top of the seventh, before Washington U. tied again at 3-3. Kessinger led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and Lowery followed with a double to deep center field. Billig came through with an RBI single through the right side to tie the game. Kozak reached on a two-out walk to load the bases, but a called strikeout ended the inning.
Kessinger had the hot bat for the Bears in game two, finishing 4-for-5 with a homerun, a double, an RBI and three runs scored. Lowery was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs, while Billig (2-for-5, triple, run, RBI), Deger (2-for-5) and Kozak (2-for-3, walk) each had two hits. Washington U. outhit the Fightin' Engineers 15-11 in the game, including five extra-base hits for the Bears to zero for Rose-Hulman. Junior Dom Quaranta gave up two runs on six hits, while recording four strikeouts in four innings of work on the mound. Freshman Scott Nelson allowed two unearned runs on four hits in four innings of relief. Freshmen Brad Margolin came in for Nelson in the ninth, allowing one unearned run in 2/3 of an inning, and freshman Matt Clohisy (1-0) picked up the first win of his career with an out against the only batter he faced to end the ninth.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. has won 19 of its last 22 games … Game two was the 10th one-run win and sixth walkoff victory for the Bears this season … The Bears are 20-4 this season when recording double-digit hits … Billig's triple in the ninth in game two tied Andy Shields (2004-07) as Washington U.'s all-time career leader with 14 … Billig had four hits on the day, passing Shields for third on WUSTL's all-time career hits list with 203 … Kessinger finished 6-for-8 at the plate, bringing his career hits total to 159, which moved him past Mark Glover (1999-2002) for 10th on the Bears' all-time career leaderboard … Bonser pitched in his 44th career game, tying with Brian Williams (2006-09) for the 10th-most games pitched in Washington U. history … He also passed Tom Eckelman (1961-64) and Williams for second on the all-time career innings pitched list (279.1) … Game one marked the first time since April 30, 2013, that sophomore Max Golembo did not reach base, a streak of 43 games, which is the sixth-longest reached base streak in NCAA Division III history … Billig extended his hitting streak to nine games … Clohisy became the ninth different pitcher on the Bears' staff to earn a win this season.