Cleveland, Ohio, March 29, 2019 – The No. 25-ranked Washington University in St. Louis baseball team earned a pair of wins during its opening day of University Athletic Association (UAA) play Friday against Case Western Reserve University on the road.
WashU improved to 15-3-1 (2-0 UAA) on the year with a 7-5 game one victory and 2-1 game two win. CWRU fell to 12-8 (0-2 UAA) on the season while the Bears snapped a six-game Spartan win streak.
Game 1: WashU 7 – CWRU 5 BOX
John Howard claimed his fifth win of the season as the Bears offense backed the senior hurler with seven runs. WashU tallied nine hits while scoring seven runs to earn its fifth straight win of the year.
Freshman shortstop Caleb Durbin, junior first baseman John Brinkman and junior center fielder John Ostrander notched two hits apiece. The Bears combined for two extra base hits. Ostrander had a double and Durbin had a run scoring triple.
Howard earned the win while limiting the Spartans to three runs (two earned) after surrendering nine hits and one walk. He utilized several swing and misses to total nine strikeouts and escape several dangerous situations.
The Bears took a 4-0 lead in the third inning. Brinkman knocked in sophomore third baseman Collin Kahal for the first run of the game. Durbin also scored on the play after a throwing error before a pair of wild pitches allowed WashU to tack on two more runs.
The Spartans threatened in the bottom of the third with back-to-back singles to start the threat. However, Howard responded with three consecutive strikeouts, getting two looking before a swing and miss to keep the Bears ahead 4-0. Durbin tripled in Kahal in the fourth inning to push the Bears ahead 5-0.
CWRU posted a run in both the bottom of the fourth and fifth inning to cut WashU's lead to 5-2. Senior second baseman Evan Nagel knocked in what proved to be the winning run in the sixth inning. He singled to right field to plate Kahal who reached on a fielding error. Freshman designated hitter Brendan Hall added an insurance run with a base knock in the seventh, scoring freshman right fielder Jackson Gray.
Freshman pitcher Matt Lopes earned his third save of the year, holding the Bears lead. He closed out the final 2.2 innings without allowing a hit or walk while striking out three batters.
Game 2: WashU 2 – CWRU 1 BOX
Durbin was the lone batter to register a two hit game in the nightcap. He went 2-for-4 and scored the first run of the contest while also swiping a bag.
Sophomore pitcher Ryan Loutos had a strong quality start as he pitched six innings allowing four hits and a run in addition to striking out 11 batters. The double digit strikeout performance is Loutos' second of the year and sixth of his career. Despite the strong performance, sophomore Mitchell Black picked up the win after entering the game in the seventh.
Black improved to 2-1 on the year, throwing two scoreless innings. He also struck out two batters. Black earned the win thanks to a ninth inning run scored by the Bears.
Junior catcher Thomas Gardner singled to lead the frame off before being bunted to second by Gray. One batter later, Kahal provided a two out game-winning single up the middle.
The Bears first run of the game came in the sixth inning. Durbin singled with one out and stole second after the next out was registered. He scored on a single through the left side by Ostrander.
WashU is scheduled (weather pending) for a doubleheader against the Spartans on Saturday, March 30 beginning at noon (ET). Be sure to stay up to date on all your scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.