Conway, Ark., Feb. 17, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team held an early lead against No. 22 University of Texas-Dallas but the six runs by the Comets in the final three innings to a 7-3 loss for the Bears in their season opener Saturday evening.
WashU fell to 0-1 on the season while Texas-Dallas improved to 3-4. Senior Auggie Mense and sophomore Thomas Gardner led the Bears with two hits apiece. The Comets outhit WashU 12-5 as sophomore John Ostrander picked up the Bears fifth hit.
Sophomore John Howard pitched six solid innings allowing just a single run on six hits and one walk while striking out five batters. Freshman Tim Tague was saddled with the loss despite striking out the first two batters he faced in his Bears' debut.
WashU struck first on a sacrifice fly by freshman Johnny LaMantia after the Bears loaded the bases in the bottom of the first. Following Mense's run, sophomore AJ Dunham was hit by a pitch to load the bases once again but a lineout and grounder kept WashU from adding to its 1-0 lead.
Three singles by Texas-Dallas in the third inning led to the Comets evening the score at 1-all, but the Bears answered back in the fourth with a two out rally. Sophomore Andrew Kleiboeker was hit by a pitch before back-to-back infield singles by Ostrander and Mense loaded the bases for Gardner.
Gardner delivered with a two-run single plating Kleiboeker as Ostrander was able to score on a throwing error which gave WashU a 3-1 advantage.
Howard exited the game after the sixth inning but Texas-Dallas scored one in the seventh, two in the eighth and three in the ninth inning to take the 7-3 victory.
Mense totaled eight multi-hit games last season and wasted little time to get his first of 2018. He also scored a run in the first inning just a season removed from tying for the team lead in with 32 runs scored.
WashU will face No. 22 Texas-Dallas again Sunday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. followed by a 2 p.m. game against Hendrix (0-4). Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.