Kevin Stiner, Assistant Sports Information Director
AUBURNDALE, Fla. – WashU baseball duplicated its total from the day before as four Bears recorded multiple hits en route to scoring a season-high in runs during a 17-4 win over Westfield State in Auburndale, Fla. with nine players scoring at least one run and eight players knocking in at least one.
WashU improved to 7-2-1 on the year with the Owls falling to 3-3 after the game. The Bears combined for 20 hits which is the most since WashU tallied 22 at Spalding on April 24, 2016. The Red & Green last matched the run output on Feb. 25, 2017 during a 17-9 win over North Park.
Freshman shortstop Caleb Durbin led the team with four hits in five at-bats, including the Bears first home run of the season. He also scored a team-leading four runs on the day while junior first baseman John Brinkman knocked in a team-high four runs.
Junior pitcher Matt Ashbaugh notched the victory by tossing six innings, while freshmen Jackson Gray and Matt Lopes threw three scoreless frames to end the game. Ashbaugh improved to 2-0 on the season with the win.
WashU took a quick lead scoring three runs in the first inning with the first coming on a groundout by Brinkman as the Bears took advantage of an Owls error. Sophomore left fielderJohnny LaMantia and junior catcher Thomas Gardner recorded run scoring singles to give Ashbaugh a 3-0 cushion before taking the mound.
Ashbaugh held Westfield State in check for three innings, pitching around singles in each frame. The Bears added six runs during that span. Brinkman, junior center fielder John Ostrander and Gardner knocked in two runs apiece during the second and third innings as WashU led 9-0 before the Owls scored their first run of the game in the fourth.
WashU stretched its lead to double figures in the fifth inning. Sophomore right fielder Henry Singer and Brinkman each knocked in a run to push the Bears advantage to 11-1.
Durbin homered in the seventh inning before Westfield State put together three consecutive hits in the bottom half of the frame queuing Gray’s entrance to the mound. He recorded three straight outs and Westfield State trailed 12-4 entering the eighth.
The Bears bats once again erupted in the ninth inning with five runs. Durbin tripled home senior second baseman Evan Nagel before scoring on a single by Singer. Several substitutions occurred before freshman Zac Styka knocked in Singer on a single and then sophomore pinch hitter Troy Bauer plated two with a triple.
Lopes allowed one hit in the bottom of the ninth but the Owls never advanced past first base.
Up next for the Bears is a doubleheader against No. 13 Concordia (TX) on Saturday, March 16 starting at 1:30 p.m. (ET) in Kissimmee, Fla. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.