Greenville, Ill., March 22, 2017 – Senior pitcher Jake Mintz worked his way to his first career save, pitching the final four innings of Washington University in St. Louis baseball's 7-6 win on the road over Greenville College Wednesday evening.
WashU improved to 10-5 on the season while evening Greenville's record at 8-8. The Panthers scored five runs in the sixth inning before Mintz helped the Bears out of the jam to secure the victory. On the night, WashU totaled nine hits as seniors Austin Darmawan, Ben Browdy and sophomore Auggie Mense concluded the game with two hits apiece.
The Bears opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the first. Darmawan and Mense reached base with singles before Browdy drove in the first run with a double down the left field line. Mense scored on a groundout by freshman John Brinkman as WashU led 2-0 after the opening frame.
Sophomore Zack Kotin, the reigning University Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week, sent the Panthers back to the bench in one, two, three fashion for a perfect first inning. After his previous outing in which he held Centenary (N.J.) hitless in seven innings, Kotin's streak of hitless innings ended at eight when Greenville's Mike Hardin singled to centerfield in the second. He held the Panthers off the board in the second despite the single and WashU added to its lead in the third.
Mense earned a one out walk before advancing to second with his fourth stolen base of the season. Senior Christian Santos singled in Mense to push the Bears advantage to three, but Greenville added its first run in the bottom half to cut it back to two.
The Bears opportunistic offense benefited from back-to-back walks in the fourth as WashU scored two runs in the inning without a single hit. Senior Tate Maider reached base on an error by the pitcher that allowed junior Conor O'Hara to score. Senior Ted Daley scored two batters later when Darmwan hit a sacrifice fly to left field which increased the Bears lead to 5-1.
Kotin held Greenville off the scoreboard in the fourth and fifth innings before WashU added to its lead in the sixth. The Bears loaded the bases without an out when a double play ball allowed senior Scott Nelson to score from third base. Darmawan scored the final run of the game for WashU on a passed ball. The Bears lead grew to 7-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Panthers scored four runs in the sixth inning before Mintz entered the action with a two run lead and runners in scoring position. He got the first batter to hit a grounder to Darmawan for a run scoring fielder's choice as the senior shortstop threw out the runner attempting to advance to third. The following Panther's batter lined into an unassisted double play to second baseman Browdy.
Mintz issued Jesse Getz a free base-on-balls in the seventh but did not allow another runner the rest of the way. He concluded the game by throwing four shutout innings without a hit while walking one and striking out four to earn a rare four inning save.
Kotin improved his record to 2-2 on the season after five innings, allowing five hits, four earned runs (five overall), three walks and five strikeouts. Darmawan and Mense both went 2-for-3 on the night with two runs scored while Browdy concluded the evening game going 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
The Bears return to action at Kelly Field with a three game weekend series against Illinois Wesleyan University beginning Saturday at 12 p.m. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: Mintz also threw four shutout innings against Greenville earlier this season during an 11-5 victory on March 1st.