Playoff hopes fade after split twin bill
One inning separated the Washington University baseball team from a loss on Saturday, which would have been its fifth straight and second of the day, against Greenville College.
Down 5-4 as they entered the final inning against the Panthers, the Bears managed to put four runs on the board behind three RBI doubles.
After taking the lead and prolonging the game, the Bears finished off Greenville in the bottom of the inning for a much-needed 8-6 win.
“If we hadn’t [won], we’d definitely have a lot of down guys, we’d have a lot of people mad, we’d have a lot of people frustrated,” junior pitcher Bryce Hrovat said. “At least this way, we still feel that there’s still a shot, that we’re not completely out of [the postseason].”
Hrovat started the game but had trouble along the way. He pitched 6 1/3 innings, while giving up five earned runs and 11 hits.
“Lately I’ve been having a little trouble with my curveball, just keeping it sharp and keeping it low. In the first inning, I hung one again for the umpteenth time this season, and an All-American hits it out,” Hrovat said. “Other than that…I did OK. I didn’t have my best stuff, but I got the job done for the most of the game.”
Pitching ace Jeremy Rogoff entered the first game of the doubleheader with a 3.25 ERA, but gave up 10 earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings, including two home runs.
“I lost my composure a little bit, and that affected the way I threw strikes. It kind of carried over from inning to inning,” Rogoff said. “Once they started stringing together some base runners, I didn’t bear down and make the pitches I needed to.”
Much of the damage came in the third inning, when Rogoff gave up both a grand slam and a two-run homer.
On the offensive side, the Bears racked up 13 hits, two more than the Panthers, but could only string together four runs.
Junior Miguel Davis’ leadoff triple in the sixth inning set up for a sacrifice fly, but it made a small dent in Greenville’s 11-run lead. Wash. U. lost the game 14-4.
“[The loss] was kind of unacceptable. We can’t have those at this point in the year,” Hrovat said.
With just 11 games left in the season, the Bears, sitting at a 15-12 record, need to win every game to keep hopes alive for an NCAA tournament bid.
“At this point, it’s going to come down to a little bit of luck if we can still make the tournament,” Hrovat said. “We have to keep our heads up and go through the rest of the season and win out. You can’t quit on the season just because there was another semi-bad weekend.”
Wash. U. will play this Sunday, April 18, against Knox College, before playing Webster University and Millikin University the following two days.
“We need to win every single game from here out, but we’re not worried about three or four games down the line,” Rogoff said. “We’re really only worried about Knox on Sunday, and after that, we’ll worry about Webster.”