Galesburg, Ill., April 3, 2011 – The Washington University in St. Louis baseball team experienced an offensive explosion not seen in more than 20 years as the Bears swept a double header at Knox College on Sunday afternoon in Galesburg, Ill., stretching its current winning streak to eight-straight in the process.
Washington University came back to win the first game 11-10 before experiencing its nearly unparalleled offensive surge in the second game, erupting for 25 runs in just seven innings for a 25-5 victory.
The 25 runs scored in a single game is the most for Washington University in over 20 years, since a 26-11 win over Webster University on March 27, 1991. While a number of players shined at the plate, senior Ben Ingell was the superstar. In two games Ingell was 8-for-10 at the plate with three home runs, 10 RBIs and six runs scored.
He hit two homers in the second game for the first multi-homer game for Washington University since Nick Vom Brack hit two homers against Emory University on March 9, 2010. Prior to Sunday afternoon Ingell had not hit a home run at Washington U. or any level of competition.
As a team the Bears tallied 22 hits with 12 extra-base hits in the 25-5 win. The team batting average jumped 10 points in that game alone, moving up from .287 to .297.
Senior Travis May was 3-for-3 with a home run and six RBIs, junior Brandon Rogalski was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored and senior Joe Noon was 3-for-6 with two RBIs.
Senior David Liebman started the second game on the mound and picked up a win and a pair of long base hits. He threw the first five innings allowing two earned runs on three hits with 10 strikeouts, yielding only one base hit over his final four innings of work.
Liebman hit for himself in the fourth in sixth, recording a two-RBI triple to left field and a double to go 2-for-2 with a 2.500 slugging percentage in the first at-bats of his career.
The first game was much closer and Washington University needed a late comeback to pick up the one-run win. Sophomore designated hitter Seth Bensussen got the Washington University offense rolling with two outs in the second, beating out a slow roller to short for an infield single.
The next three batters to step to the plate each recorded an RBI base hit, highlighted by sophomore David Madson's towering double to deep right-center field, giving the Red and Green a 3-0 lead.
The lead did not last, with Knox combining to score nine runs in the fourth in fifth innings to grab a 10-5 lead. Senior Zach Cain relieved Washington University starter Bryce Hrovat in the bottom of the fourth as the Bears struggled to get outs. Washington U. issued five walks with two hit batters in the fourth, leading to five Prairie Fire runs on just one hit.
Knox scored four more in the fifth to take its five-run lead before senior H.T. Flanagan came in and shut down the Prairie Fire offense for the rest of the game. He gave up two hits before recording eight straight outs to limit Knox from extending its lead.
The Bears got back into the game with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by Ingell's two-run home run to left-centerfield. Still trailing by one run in the top of the seventh, the Bears manufactured one more run to force a tie and brought the game winner across the plate in the same inning.
Down to the final out, Ingell singled to centerfield and stole second to move into scoring position as the tying run. The aggressive base running paid off as freshman Kyle Billig delivered a double to left field and came across to score on a Rogalski double.
Washington U. (19-11) returns to action on Tuesday, April 5, when it heads to Carlinville, Ill., to face Blackburn College in a single game starting at 3:30 p.m.
Bear Notebook: Flanagan improved to 2-2 with the win in game one … Rogalski was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Ingell finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs while scoring twice in the first game … Senior Eric Myjak pitched the final two innings of game two.