No. 17 Bears Fall in Dramatic Ninth Inning Walk-Off

Photo by Scott Margolin
Photo by Scott Margolin

Birmingham, Ala., Feb. 26, 2017 – The No. 17-ranked Washington University in St. Louis baseball team jumped ahead early against No. 6 Birmingham Southern College before a late rally led to a walk-off 5-4 win for the Panthers on Sunday evening. 

WashU falls to 1-2 on the season, while Birmingham improved to 9-2 on the year. The Bears had five players with multiple hits in the game and totaled 13 compared to the Panthers four.

The Bears led 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning but two runners reached base on hit-by-pitches before a sac bunt put the Panthers winning run within scoring distance. A single to right-centerfield by Birmingham's Tyler Hammel ended the game 5-4. 

Senior shortstop Austin Darmawan led the game off with a hit up the middle and scored one batter later on a double by senior second baseman Ben Browdy. However, the Panthers answered back with an unearned run in the bottom half of the inning.

A double down the leftfield line by senior Ted Daley initiated another run for the Bears in the second inning. Daley advanced to third base on a sac bunt by junior Auggie Mense and scored on freshman John Brinkman's single to center to give WashU a 2-1 lead. 

The Bears scored runs in each of the first four innings including a RBI hit from Daley in the third inning that scored Browdy and a leadoff homerun by Brinkman in the fourth.

Senior Scott Nelson kept the Panthers off the scoreboard in consecutive innings but Birmingham crossed the plate again in the fourth on a sacrifice fly, which cut the Bears advantage to 4-2. 

The Panthers added another unearned run in the seventh off Nelson after a miscue in leftfield allowed the leadoff man to reach second base. Nelson walked the next batter before a double-steal put the runners in scoring position. A shallow fly out to centerfield did not allow the runners to advance but the next batter lined the ball deep enough to score the runner on third and cut WashU's lead to 4-3.

Sophomore Wright Lindgren entered the game in relief of Nelson to start the eighth inning. He tossed a scoreless inning which included two strikeouts before hitting the Panthers' first two batters in the ninth en route to being saddled with the loss. 

Browdy, junior Conor O'Hara, Daley, Mense and Brinkman all finished the game with multiple hits for WashU. Daley and Mense each totaled three hits apiece.

The Bears host Greenville in their home opener on Wednesday, March 1 at 2 p.m. before hosting Luther over the weekend. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.