St. Louis, Mo., March 7, 2011 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team split a double header with No. 18 College of St. Scholastica on Monday afternoon at Kelly Field in St. Louis, Mo. The Bears dropped the first game 10-5 but bounced back to pick up a 3-2 win in the second game of the twinbill, marking the first win over a ranked opponent for first-year head coach Steve Duncan.
St. Scholastica scored four runs off WUSTL starting pitcher Adam Merzel in the top of the first inning of game one, highlighted by Joe Link's two-run home run to left field.
Washington U. answered back with three runs on two hits and took advantage of an error in the bottom of the first. Senior Brandon Rogalski singled home freshman Kyle Billig, who walked to leadoff the inning, for the first run of the game for the Bears. Senior Matt Bayer followed with a two-out two-RBI double to right field to trim the lead to 4-3.
The Saints added a run in the third inning, but Washington U. responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning after an RBI double to right by Bayer, his second of the game.
The two teams traded runs again in the sixth and the score was 7-5 in favor of the visitors headed into the top half of the seventh. However, the Saints came away with three unearned scores that inning to put the game out of reach and secure a win.
In game two, Rogalski made his second start of the season and loaded the bases in the first and third innings but escaped the jam both times by getting St. Scholastica's Brandon Peterson to end the inning. He forced Peterson to ground into 1-2-3 double play in the first, and Peterson flew out to freshman Kyle Billig in left-center field to end the third.
The Bears scored two runs in the top of the first and added another in the second to stake claim to an early 3-0 lead. Two of Washington University's first three hitters of the game reached base and Rogalski drove in the first run of the game with an RBI double to left field, scoring senior Matt Skinner from second.
Bayer came to the plate next, sending a sacrifice fly to centerfield to bring senior Travis May home from third. Sophomore Stephen Bonser reached on an error by shortstop Chad Peterson to start the second and scored off a Billig double three batters later, resulting in the 3-0 WUSTL lead.
St. Scholastica loaded the bases again in the fifth and managed to come away with a pair of runs to narrow the gap to just 3-2. Sophomore Max Gordon relieved Rogalski to start the sixth inning and protected the one-run lead. He gave up just two hits with three strikeouts in two innings of work to earn the first save of his career.
Gordon did get into some trouble in the top of the seventh. Scott Greening reached first to lead off the inning because of an error and advanced to third later in the frame following a wild pitch. With only one out, St. Scholastica catcher Kyle Moody flew out to right field, but Greening did not try to test the arm of Bonser in right and Gordon got Andy Manos to fly out to Skinner at first to end the game.
Washington University (3-5) begins a six-game, five-day road trip at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship on Thursday-Monday, March 10-14, in Sanford, Fla. The Bears open play against Case Western Reserve University on Thursday at 6 p.m. (ET).
Bear Notebook: Rogalski pitched five innings giving up just one earned run with one strikeout in game two … Rogalski finished the day going 4-of-6 from the plate with two runs scored and two RBI's … After giving up four runs on five hits to start game one, Merzel gave up just three more hits over the next four innings … St. Scholastica game-two starter Andy Davis struck out nine batters in the first start of his collegiate career.