Bears Bats Break Winter Silence in Season Opening Split

Photo by Mary Butkus/WUSTL Photos
Photo by Mary Butkus/WUSTL Photos

Conway, Ark., Feb. 24, 2019 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team opened its season with a doubleheader Sunday in Arkansas dropping a high-scoring contest to Hendrix College, 11-10, before topping Benedictine University (Ill.) 12-5 while totaling 30 hits in the combined games.

WashU opens the season with a 1-1 record and has its home opener scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 27 against Fontbonne University at 2 p.m. After committing five errors in their first game of the year the Bears rebounded in game two with zero blemishes.

Game 1: Hendrix 11 – WashU 10

The Bears outhit the Warriors 16-11 but committed a total of five errors which proved costly as only four of Hendrix's 11 runs were earned. WashU's offense was led by junior third baseman John Brinkman as the 2018 All-Central Region (D3baseball.com) honoree got the year started with a career-high five hit performance.

With WashU trailing 11-8 in the ninth inning and the bases loaded, Brinkman delivered a single to left field which plated senior second baseman Evan Nagel and freshman designated hitter Jackson Gray to trim the deficit to one. However, the Bears were unable to pick up another run to even the score.

Also picking up multi-hit performances to start the season were sophomore right fielder Henry Singer (2-for-3) junior centerfielder John Ostrander (3-for-5), freshman shortstop Caleb Durbin (2-for-5) and Nagel (2-for-4). Brinkman, Ostrander and junior catcher Thomas Gardner knocked in a pair of runs.

Game 2: WashU 12 - Benedictine 5

Duplicating multi-hit performances in the second game were Ostrander and Durbin, while they combined to knock in seven runs. Nagel led the Bears with four hits while scoring four runs.

Junior Matt Ashbaugh picked up the win after entering the game in the third inning. He tossed 4.1 innings, limiting the Eagles to two hits and one unearned run while striking out four batters.

The Bears quickly jumped ahead in the first inning, plating four runs including a run scoring double by Ostrander and Durbin. Ostrander once again struck in the second inning, knocking in a pair of runs to push the Bears lead to 6-0 with a triple.

Benedictine's biggest threat came in the eighth inning as the Eagles managed to score three runs, but sophomore pitcher Rees Viersen entered with runners on first and third while allowing just one inherited runner to score on a passed ball. He closed out the ninth inning in order including two strikeouts.

The Bears are scheduled to open their home slate on Wednesday, Feb. 27 against Fontbonne as well as hosting St. Thomas (Minn.) Friday-Sunday, March 1-3 at home. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.