Courtside

Your Guide to GW sports

Sunday, April 8, 2012 7:58 p.m.

Baseball team falls in tenth inning to Rhode Island

Senior Eric Lara sends a pitch to home plate earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet Staff Writer Nick Ong.

The Colonials’ best scoring chance Sunday also turned into the team’s most crushing play of the weekend.

GW (12-19) went 1-2 in weekend action at Rhode Island, falling 10-2 Friday, returning to nab a 2-0 victory Saturday, but dropping in Sunday’s tenth inning 1-0 loss to the Rams.

GW’s best scoring chance Sunday came in the top of the tenth, when it had runners on second and third with only one out. After senior Stephen Oswald’s intentional walk loaded the bases, senior Brett Bowers hit a chopper to second, grounding into an inning-ending, and momentum-killing, double play.

“That obviously took some steam out of us,” head coach Steve Mrowka said.

Rhode Island’s clutch defensive play also switched the momentum completely to the Rams’. With a runner on second, GW elected to intentionally walk a Rhode Island batter, and then, with a 1-2 count, the Rams’ cleanup hitter put a single to right field, clinching the win with an RBI that sent home the winning run.

Junior pitcher Tyler McCarthy started Sunday’s contest for the Colonials. Battling to hold back the Rams, McCarthy pitched seven innings of two-hit baseball, finishing with four walks and one strikeout. His efforts weren’t enough against Rhode Island’s clutch score, and GW’s inability to capitalize on its own scoring opportunities.

“It was typical baseball,” Mrowka said. “You know when you have solid pitching and defense, you’re not going to get a lot of opportunities. We had those opportunities to score, but nobody came through today with that big hit.”

Trying to conjure as many scoring opportunities as they could, Mrowka put some pressure on opposing pitchers, telling his players to take pitches and draw walks to get runners on base. But that strategy wasn’t enough for the Colonials as they battled another uncontrollable factor at the plate – the wind.

Throughout the three-game weekend series, Mrowka said, the cold wind was blowing straight into the plate, making it hard for batters to maintain control and reducing the chance of players hitting home runs.

“Putting it simply, it just wasn’t either team’s game swinging the bats,” Mrowka said.

As the Colonials continue to advance in A-10 play, the need to maintain offensive power will continue to be apparent. The team has the defensive and pitching strength to be successful in league competition, but needs to capitalize on its chances at the plate, Mrowka said.

“We have to take advantage of our opportunities,” Mrowka said. “And we have to start hitting as a team.”