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Your Guide to GW sports

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 11:15 p.m.

Preview: Baseball at Dayton

This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Josh Solomon.

Updated: April 21, 2016 at 12:25 a.m.

What: Baseball (6–4 A-10) vs. Dayton (4-8 A-10), Conference Series

Where: Woerner Field, Dayton, Ohio

When: Friday, April 22 at 3 p.m.; Saturday, at 1 p.m.; Sunday, at 12 p.m.

The tides have turned for the Colonials.

Last weekend, GW swept George Mason at home, showing off their recently healed lineup, a fairly dominant bullpen and the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.

GW picked up a team anthem while on its bus ride back from Davidson the previous weekend. Against GMU, the Colonials talked up a storm on the bench, sounding at times more like a Little League team than a Division I college team. But that’s a good thing for them, because for the first time all season, it seems like they are consistently having fun.

“The college season is a little dissimilar to the pro, where in the pro it’s just every single solitary day,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said, after Sunday’s sweep over the Patriots. “We got a weekend. We can get you fired up for a weekend.”

The team’s starting shortstop, junior Kevin Mahala, is back on the field after working through a hip flexor injury (and homering in Tuesday’s 7-2 win against Towson) and the team’s top hitter this season, sophomore Mark Osis, is back in left field after recovering from a pulled hamstring.

“They’re two guys that the team has looked to for probably the better part of 25 games,” Ritchie said. “To be guys that lead the team a little bit by their actions and by their performance. It was huge to have them back. It had an effect.”

Finally looking like the team they set out to be, the Colonials head to Dayton with another chance to win an A-10 series and maybe even sweep the Flyers.

Case for the Colonials:

Set aside the additions of two of GW’s top hitters, Mahala and Osis – the Colonials still have had one of the best hitters in A-10 play in their lineup all season.

Fresh off of an A-10 Player of the Week award, junior Bobby Campbell is red-hot. He leads the conference in on-base percentage (.524) and ranks fourth in batting average (.455). Also, Campbell is tied for third in the conference in RBIs (10). The Colonials first baseman showed his consistency after another two-RBI day Tuesday against Towson.

GW’s deep lineup bodes well against a Dayton pitching staff whose team earned run average in conference games is 4.08.

The Colonials bullpen is in a good spot after using only seven pitchers last weekend. Against Towson earlier this week, they used another two – sophomore Robbie Metz going an impressive 7.0 innings – yielding eight hits and one run, and sophomore Tyler Swiggart finishing it out.

The Colonials dropped their Wednesday night game 2-1 at Georgetown, but the bullpen proved to be solid. Sophomore Chance Malek, junior Jordan Sheinkop and junior Eddie Muhl combined for five innings of hitless baseball in relief.

GW, now winners of five of their last six, bring a hot lineup and strong bullpen into Ohio.

Case for the Flyers:

Dayton needs to not commit errors if the Flyers want to come out on top.

The team ranks dead last in fielding defense in the conference with 21 errors. GW is tied for first in committed errors with six in A-10 play.

During conference play, Dayton has allowed 49 earned runs and 72 total runs. The team’s offense has scored 58 runs.

The Flyers also boast three batters hitting over .300 in A-10 play: senior Cameron Silva (.371), junior Nick Ryan (.356) and redshirt-junior Mitch Coughlin (.311). Freshman Connor Echols leads the A-10 in walks (10).

Senior Sam Brunner has the fifth-best ERA in the A-10 during conference play, at 0.98 in six games in relief. Freshman Austin Cline ranks sixth with 21 strikeouts.

Last year, Dayton went 5-19 in conference and GW swept them. This year if the team defense can play fairly error free, they may have a chance of coming away successful against the Colonials.

The bottom line:

It is always difficult to sweep on the road, but this series poses a good opportunity for the Colonials. With momentum finally in their favor, a fully stacked bullpen and a fully functioning offense, GW could win three in a row from the Flyers.

Plus, now is the time to win. Three of GW’s four remaining A-10 series are against teams who are tied or are better than them in the standings: VCU (9-3) the weekend of April 29, Fordham (6-3) the weekend of May 6 and the regular season finale the weekend of May 13 against Saint Louis (7-2).

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Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Senior Luke Olson threw eight shutout innings to clinch a series sweep over George Mason Sunday as the Colonials took down the Patriots 6–3. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Josh Solomon.

On the bus ride back from Davidson last weekend, GW finished watching the Pirates of Caribbean series.

The Colonials had just lost the series to the Wildcats, losing the final game by one run. The team was also playing without its full lineup.

A team without its top crew just isn’t as effective.

They were missing the strength of their three and four-hole hitters. Left fielder, sophomore Mark Osis had been out since before Atlantic 10 play began with a pulled hamstring and shortstop, junior Kevin Mahala was battling a hip flexor injury, restricting him to designated hitter.

This weekend against George Mason, GW had all hands on deck: Osis was back in left field and Mahala was back out at shortstop, for Saturday and Sunday’s games. The lineup was potent, scoring 24 runs in the three games. Every time the Colonials scored a run the PA system played the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack and the players on the bench could be heard leading the chant.

“It’s not even dissimilar to what we did with the Pirates one year when we had Zoltan. Remember that?” Ritchie said. “Saw the movie [Pirates of the Caribbean], hadn’t seen it a long time and just loved it and got fired up. There was that energy. That movie gives a lot of energy. There’s a lot of battles. We were all just talking about it. Let’s roll, let’s battle like this.”

The Colonials would right their season’s ship, improving to 6-3 after a series sweep over George Mason, closed out by a 9–3 Sunday win at The Tuck.

And while GW’s Sunday win showed off its offensive potential, senior Luke Olson stole the spotlight.

Olson relieved sophomore Brady Renner, who went one inning, giving up three runs, two earned, walking two and striking out two all on 46 pitches.

The submariner came in thinking he would just try to throw up some zeroes for a few innings. He left the game when it was over – pitching eight shutout innings and allowing three hits on over 99 pitches.

“I’m definitely tired, but it was a fun eight innings,” Olson said. “I was glad I was pitching well. Pretty much all of my pitches were working.”

Everytime Olson got to a two strike count or struck out a batter the bench would holler at him “Oi Oi Oi,” the Australian sports chant. Olson’s PA song is the popular Australian song, “Down Under” by Men at Work, a play off of his down under delivery.

“That was weird. The first time I heard it, I was like ‘Woah, what is that?’,” Olson said. “It was cool though. I was trying to hide my smile out there.”

As Olson dazzled on the mound with his fastball, slider combo, his teammates put up runs behind him to break open the game.

In the fifth inning, GW scored four runs on four hits.

Junior Bobby Campbell continued his torrid pace, working a walk to start the inning, coming back down in the count two strikes. In the series he went 4-10, with five runs scored and three RBI – a week after batting .571 against Davidson. His batting average is now up to .357.

A hit and run by sophomore Matt Cosentino, in the designated hitter spot to help lengthen the lineup, landed runners on first and second with one out. Then a steal by Campbell, followed by an overthrown ball allowed him to score and moved Cosentino to second.

Sophomore Brandon Chapman would single in Cosentino with a bloop hit to center and later junior Joey Bartosic would drive in two runs with his rip to the left center field 363 feet marker for a double, and his third hit of the day.

In the bottom of the first inning, following a top half where it looked like GW’s chance for a sweep would be limited, the Colonials came back out and plated three of their own. Mahala doubled in the third run of the inning for his one hit of the day.

“We had a lot of energy today,” Mahala said. “Just real hot. I don’t know what it was today, but we just woke up with a lot of energy and kept it rolling throughout the game. You go down three in the first inning and to keep the energy like that is a big step forward for the team.”

With Mahala and Osis, regardless of their personal production, the team is deeper both in the field and at the plate. And mentally, when you have two of your top hitters fully back in the lineup, you know you have a good chance.

“It was great, it was one of the few times that they had that much energy throughout the entire three games, one through nine, all nine, every game, boom, boom, boom, no matter what,” Ritchie said. “We’re having a lot of fun.”

Series Recap

Game 1: GW 1, GMU 0

Although it didn’t play out as pretty as it sounds – ace of the staff to the setup man to the closer for a 1-0 shutout victory – GW did win the series opener against the Patriots off of a formula that they have been looking to execute.

Senior Bobby LeWarne picked up his team-high fifth win of the season, going six innings, scattering five hits and striking out six with 104 pitches. He had to wiggle out of some kind of trouble in every inning. Freshman Justin Friedman escaped his own trouble in the seventh, and junior Eddie Muhl had to sweat it out too before earning his ninth save of the season.

Campbell collected GW’s first hit of the game in the fifth with a double. Junior Cody Bryant would drive him in with a double of his own.

Game 2: GW 14, GMU 4

In the team’s first game with a full, healthy lineup since before A-10 play started, the offense clicked for 14 runs, eight earned. The Colonials put up crooked numbers in the third and fourth, scoring eight and five runs, respectively.

Chapman hit a grand slam, and went 2-3 on the day with two runs scored and five RBI. Osis went 3-5, with two runs scored and one RBI.

GW used just two pitches, starter, junior Shane Sweeney, who went 4.2 innings and allowed four runs, three earned on 90 pitches. Senior Jacob Williams would get the win, his third of the season, closing the final 4.1 innings, allowing one hit and striking out four on 60 pitches.

Up Next: GW will host Towson, Tuesday at 3 p.m. Sophomore Robbie Metz is a potential candidate to start, among a whole, fairly rested bullpen – after the Colonials used seven pitchers between three games.

The team will resume conference play on the road at Dayton (4-8) this weekend. The starting rotation is expected to stay the same: LeWarne, Sweeney, Renner.

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This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Josh Solomon.

Opposing pitcher Tyler Zombro entered the game with a 1-6 record and a 7.09 ERA.

Entering the fifth inning, the George Mason junior was throwing a perfect game.

GW senior Bobby LeWarne had matched Zombro to that point in the Atlantic 10 series opener – although it was a little more stressful.

In the top half of the fifth, with one out, LeWarne had a runner on third, after a failed pickoff attempt. He struck out the two-hitter. Then a brief mound visit by his catcher and first baseman, junior Bobby Campbell, calmed LeWarne down before he faced the Patriots’ top hitter. LeWarne struck him out looking on his go-to change up.

“I ran back to the dugout and told everybody, ‘That’s what momentum is supposed to feel like,’” head coach Gregg Ritchie said. “Understand, that’s momentum…And you need to take that momentum with energy right here now, and find a way to score one run.’”

Lead off the fifth inning at the plate, Campbell then had a meeting of his own. He had just showed his disgust with a pitch call that put him down in the count two strikes to none.

Third base coach Dave Lorber yelled ‘time’ to the umpire and called Campbell over. Entering the game, the Colonials cleanup hitter was batting .607 in his last six games.

Campbell slashed the 0-2 pitch the opposite way, down the right field line for a standup double. Pumped up he motioned to the dugout and it seemed GW was poised for a potent inning.

“Relief,” Campbell said. “Just…thankful that he left one over.”

With one out and Campbell on third, junior Andrew Selby tried to execute the suicide squeeze. He popped it up to the catcher. Campbell scrambled back to third, already half way down the line. Selby couldn’t get him in, but junior Cody Bryant could, on a two-strike two-out double to right center.

“They’re thinking they’re winning and I’m like, ‘Nah.’ Just double. Thought it was cool, man. I was pumped up, everyone was pumped up,” Bryant said.

That would be all the Colonials (4-3) would need, winning the opener against George Mason (2-8) 1-0, Friday afternoon at The Tuck.

LeWarne would earn his fifth win of the season, improving to 5-2 on the year. His final line would read: 6.0 innings, five hits, no runs, three walks and six strikeouts on 104 pitches. It was a relatively short outing for LeWarne, but it did the job.

“I’ve got a lot of practice,” LeWarne said. “I’m a little old now, but tough situations you just got to stay calm and make your pitches.”

GW bridged the rest of the game with what has become its set-up-to-closer combo of freshman Justin Friedman and junior Eddie Muhl.

Friedman walked the leadoff batter in the seventh, and eventually escaped a bases loaded jam with two outs facing George Mason’s cleanup hitter. In the eighth, Friedman was replaced by Muhl after walking the leadoff batter a second time.

Muhl stranded the one runner but continued the trend to start the ninth by throwing a lead off walk. A failed pickoff attempt allowed the runner to move to second, and a fly ball moved him 90 feet from tying the game.

Muhl worked the count full against the Patriots’ top hitter. He hit a line drive to left but it was caught on a diving grab to end the game.

Muhl, who entered the series tied for ninth in country in saves, picked up his ninth of the season Friday to lock up the win.

The sinking line drive to left field was caught by sophomore Mark Osis in his first day back from a hamstring injury sustained the week before the A-10 opener.

“Osis back is huge,” Ritchie said. “He made four fantastic plays. Very aware out there.”

The team had missed his bat in the two A-10 series without him. Osis was leading the Colonials in most offensive categories, highlighted by his .389 batting average. The left fielder went 1-3 on the day, but showed his value from the two diving catches, one in the third and one in the ninth to save the game, in addition to a couple well played balls down the left field line.

The other main injured Colonial, junior Kevin Mahala, was the team’s designated hitter on the day. Still battling back from a hip flexor injury, Mahala may be able to return to shortstop Sunday.

The final box score is not particularly pretty: one run, three hits and two errors, but GW got the win and will head into Saturday with a chance to clinch the series.

“That’s one you haven’t seen all year,” Ritchie said. “A situation like that where our pitching comes up big and we do the right things. Yeah, it got a little hairy at the end with the error on the throw over, but the bullpen coming in and essentially slamming the door was pretty decent.”

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Friday, April 15, 2016 5:53 p.m.

Rizzotti named women’s basketball head coach

Women's basketball head coach Jennifer Rizzotti makes a statement at a press conference Friday afternoon. Rizzotti was previously the coach at the University of Hartford. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Women’s basketball head coach Jennifer Rizzotti makes a statement at a press conference Friday afternoon. Rizzotti was previously the coach at the University of Hartford. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Jennifer Rizzotti will be the next head coach of the women’s basketball program, GW Athletics announced at a press conference Friday afternoon.

“I am really excited to be here and I am very aware of the outstanding basketball tradition here at the University.” Rizzotti said. “I know the possibilities that are here. There is no limit for what this women’s basketball team can accomplish and I am really proud to be its next leader.”

Rizzotti, who replaces Jonathan Tsipis who left the program in March, has been the head coach at The University of Hartford since 1999.

Over her 17-year tenure she led the Hawks to five conference championships, six NCAA tournaments, and four WNIT appearances. She has coached 36 players who have won all-conference awards as well as 10 different 1,000-point scorers.

The year before Rizzotti took over in Hartford, they were 8-19 and had never finished in the top-three of their conference. She finished her Hawks career 305-181 (.628), the best winning percentage of any coach in Hartford women’s basketball history.

Jennifer Rizzotti was announced as head coach of the women's basketball team on April 15. Rizzotti brings to GW experience as a player and coach. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Jennifer Rizzotti was announced as head coach of the women’s basketball team on April 15. Rizzotti brings experience to GW as a player and coach. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Rizzotti served as the assistant coach for the 2006 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship before becoming the head coach for both the 2010 FIBA U-18 Championship gold medal winning squad and the 2011 FIBA U-19 Champions. In 2011, USA Basketball named her the National Coach of the Year.

Before coaching, Rizzotti was well known in Connecticut for her playing ability. She won a high school (New Fairfield), college (UConn), and professional championship (Houston Comets) during her career as a point guard. As a member of the Huskies she averaged 11.1 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game and was part of the first national championship team at UConn. In June of 2013, Rizzotti was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Colonials return three of their five starters in the fall and will try to use Rizzotti’s experience of winning to boost them to their third consecutive NCAA tournament.

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Media Credit: Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

First baseman Bobby Campbell tosses the ball to senior pitcher Jacob Williams in a game against La Salle earlier this season. Media Credit: Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Josh Solomon.

What: Baseball (3–3 A-10) vs. George Mason (2-7 A-10), Conference Series
Where: Tucker Field at Barcroft Park, Arlington, Va.
When: Friday, April 15 at 3 p.m.; Saturday, at 1 p.m.; Sunday, at 12 p.m.

Sitting in the middle of the conference – tied for sixth – GW is not exactly where they want to be heading into a big home series against George Mason. A series against the Patriots at home though move the Colonials in the right direction, though.

GW lost its last series to Davidson, falling in the series rubber match 8-7, when the bullpen couldn’t follow up a strong start.

The injuries are layered. Besides the season-long issue of not having enough healthy arms, two of the team’s top hitters are now injured – sophomore Mark Osis (pulled hamstring) and junior Kevin Mahala (hip flexor).

“With Osis and Mahala in the position they’re in right now, it definitely has put us in a precarious position defensively and offensively in terms of the length of the lineup,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said after the Davidson series last weekend. “Combining that with pitching stuff since day one of the season, it’s a challenge, but the guys are doing some really good things.”

The good news is Tuesday’s 10-2 road win over Towson indicates the team may be closer to being healthy.

The two highlights were Osis pinch hitting (and walking on seven pitches) and sophomore Robbie Metz getting the start (4.0 innings, seven hits, two runs, three strikeouts, 78 pitches). And Mahala may even play in the field this weekend, Ritchie said.

A healthier team against a weaker George Mason team could be the formula for success for GW this weekend.

Case for the Colonials:

If the starters can continue their dominance, and the Colonials’ bats can continue their hot hitting, GW should have a shot at a sweep.

The difference this weekend is sophomore Brady Renner will likely be lengthened out to the 80 plus pitch region, and be able to give GW the length they need to win. Still recovering from a back shoulder strain, Renner is about a start or two away from being fully stretched out.

And if GW can get Osis and Mahala more at-bats, the team can be as strong as they were when they scored 19 runs against local powerhouse Maryland last month.

Look for junior Bobby Campbell to stay hot, after batting .571 in the Davidson series, and going 4-5 with three runs scored, two driven in and one home run against Towson. And junior Joey Bartosic should start to show his midseason form, after collecting five hits and scoring four runs last weekend.

Also, Sunday is Bark at Barcroft, when fans can bring their dogs to the park. A big crowd typically doesn’t hurt the home team.

Case for the Patriots:

In the three years Ritchie coached the Colonials, his team is 3-5 against George Mason. The last two years, GW has lost the season series.

This season though, George Mason is off to a rough start in conference. The Patriots lost 2-of-3 to Dayton (3-6) this past weekend, in Fairfax, Va. In the battle of the two bottom teams of the division, they were badly beaten at home – 2-9 in the first game and 6-9 in the third game.

The one game they won though was the middle game of the series, 8-2, on the performance of sophomore Joe Williams. He went 8.0 innings, giving up seven hits but only one run, while striking out seven. He will likely matchup with GW’s Shane Sweeney on Saturday and could be Mason’s best chance at preventing a sweep or perhaps swinging the momentum of the series their way.

The Patriots’ top hitter this year, sophomore Brady Acker, went a combined 3-11, with two RBI and two runs scored against GW last year. This season Acker is batting a team-high .352, in 14 games played and started, including two home runs and 10 RBI.

The bottom line:
GW needs to come to the ballpark healthy this weekend. The Colonials are averaging 3.8 runs a game in conference play, while the Patriots are averaging 3.4 runs a game. If Mahala can play the field in at least one game and Osis can get in the lineup, the Colonials should have the depth, the offensive power and the starting pitching to pull off a sweep this weekend or at the very least an A-10 series win.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016 12:30 p.m.

Anthony Swan to transfer

Anthony Swan will transfer out of the men’s basketball program, according to a tweet by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

The sophomore forward, who played in all 38 games during GW’s 2015-2016 campaign, averaged 0.6 points and 3.4 minutes per game this past season.

As a freshman, the Los Angeles, Ca. native averaged 0.4 minutes and 1.8 points across 26 games, and was a member of GW’s Athletic Academic Dean’s List for the 2014 fall semester.

Swan becomes the second Colonial to leave the program this offseason, as news broke last week that sophomore guard Paul Jorgensen will also not return to Foggy Bottom next year.

With the departures of three seniors, one graduate student, Jorgensen and Swan, GW will return just seven players from its 2015-2016 roster, which captured the program’s first National Invitation Tournament title in school history this March.

Forwards Kevin Marfo, Collin Smith and Arnaldo Toro will join the 2016-2017 GW frontcourt next year as freshmen.

 

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Seniors Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen hug after GW's win over Florida on March 23. Garino and Larsen will participate in the Portsmouth Invitational tournament this weekend. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Seniors Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen hug after GW’s win over Florida on March 23. Garino and Larsen will participate in the Portsmouth Invitational tournament this weekend. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen will participate in this week’s 2016 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a competition showcasing the nation’s top seniors to scouts from the NBA and international leagues.

The international pair, which started all 38 games this season and helped men’s basketball take home its first National Invitation Tournament title in school history last month, kicks off PIT play Thursday night in Portsmouth, Va.

Garino finished GW’s historic 2015-2016 campaign as the team’s second-highest scorer, averaging a career-best 14.1 points per game while leading the Colonials with a 43 percent clip from three-point range. The Mar Del Plata, Argentina native is also a 1,000-plus career points scorer and received All-Defensive team nods in each of his last three seasons.

The six-foot-six-inch swingman will play for Portsmouth Sports Club alongside Wyoming guard Josh Adams, Northwestern guard Tre Demps, Fresno State guard Marvelle Harris, Austin Peay forward Chris Horton, Miami center Tonye Jekiri, SMU forward Markus Kennedy and Connecticut forward Shonn Miller.

Larsen, who finished his GW career as the all-time leader in games played at 136, averaged 12.3 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds in his final season. Ranking second in the Atlantic 10 with 13 double-doubles, Larsen is also just one of seven players in program history to reach 1,000 points and 900 rebounds.

The Copenhagen, Denmark native will play for K&D Rounds with North Florida forward Beau Beech, BYU guard Kyle Collinsworth, Florida forward Dorian Finney-Smith, Michigan State guard Bryn Forbes, Auburn forward Tyler Harris, Butler forward Roosevelt Jones and Miami guard Angel Rodriguez.

The A-10 will also be represented by Richmond forward Terry Allen, VCU guard Melvin Johnson, Saint Joseph’s forward Isaiah Miles, Dayton forward Dyshawn Pierre and George Mason center Shevon Thompson.

Larsen’s squad will play Thursday at 7 p.m. while Garino’s follows at 9 p.m.

 

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Monday, April 11, 2016 3:25 p.m.

Baseball drops series at Davidson

Senior Luke Olson releases a pitch to a La Salle hitter last week. Olson and the Colonials are trying to piece together a relieving corps despite a host of injuries. Hatchet File Photo.

Senior Luke Olson releases a pitch to a La Salle hitter last week. Olson and the Colonials are trying to piece together a relieving corps despite a host of injuries. Hatchet File Photo.

This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Josh Solomon.

Junior Kevin Mahala lined one, six feet high, with enough oomph to split the outfield and shoot for the gap.

The tying run was standing 90 feet away and the go-ahead run stood at second.

Davidson’s second baseman made the diving grab on designated hitter Mahala’s scorcher. One more out later and the eighth inning three-run rally was over. GW still trailed by one in the conference rubber match.

A few more outs later and the game was over, 8-7. The series was over with it: GW dropped to 3-3 overall in the Atlantic 10 after losing two-of-three on the road to the Wildcats.

“In the last three years, this is the best offense we’ve ever had,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said. “There’s not a lot of games you lose when you get 15 hits and seven runs and commit zero errors. So it is a tough one to swallow, but at the same time and I’ll say it right now, our guys had really great intensity level. If we repeat that and play with that intensity all the way, we’ll be OK.”

GW had won the first game with a solid performance by senior Bobby LeWarne, who picked up his fourth win of the season against the Wildcats (7-2). It seemed the Colonials stood a good chance to pick up another conference series victory – a week after defeating La Salle (2-4) at home.

GW couldn’t sweep the Explorers because of bullpen issues, though, and this week the Colonials couldn’t pick up the series win against Davidson because of more bullpen issues. They also had problems with their infield and the team’s sudden lack of depth.

“[Shane] Sweeney pitched well, LeWarne pitched well, [Brady] Renner dominated. The starting situation is good with those three for now, but it’s just a matter of how we’re going to utilize the other guys,” Ritchie said.

There aren’t many other guys to utilize, though. The current health situation for the Colonials is as follows:

GW is still down four arms, all of whom will not be back this season.

Sophomore Brady Renner is back and healthy from a back shoulder strain. He threw a season-high 64 pitches Sunday, going 4.1 innings and giving up three runs on three hits and three walks.

Mahala, normally the starting shortstop, is still nursing a hip flexor injury but has resumed some infield practice and running activities. Mahala legged out a double this weekend in DH duties.

Sophomore Mark Osis, who was leading the team in most offensive categories before suffering a pulled hamstring the week leading up to GW’s A-10 opener, is on a similar timetable to Mahala. He may even see time at DH this coming week against George Mason, particularly if Mahala can play one game in the field.

With all those injuries, GW has less ability to be creative.

Sophomore Robbie Metz was not going to pitch Sunday, like he did last Sunday from the bullpen, because the team needed more depth in the infield.

Metz played the first game of his college career at shortstop on Sunday. Both Metz and junior Eli Kashi are natural shortstops. Kashi swung back over to third after filling filling the hole for the injured Mahala at shortstop. GW then filled second base with a combination of junior Colin Gibbons-Fly and senior Andy Young.

The arrangement worked better than GW’s did Saturday, when Sweeney’s solid start was spoiled by poor defense on the third base side.

“Quite honestly, we made three errors they didn’t even give us,” Ritchie said. “They were responsible for five runs.”

And it would be great for the team to get Metz on the mound, but with infield defense becoming paramount, the priorities have shifted.

“We gotta get Metz going, gotta get him back on the mound, but it’s hard to do that when you don’t have anybody who can play the field right now. You see the dilemma there, right?” Ritchie said.

Sunday’s game, though, was still winnable.

Renner left the game with the lead. Senior Jacob Williams came in relief. This is the second week in a row that Williams did not start, but rather came in relief to piggyback Renner. Each week he has run into trouble early. Williams would strike out the first batter he faced, a matchup Ritchie liked, but would give up a two RBI triple to right center to the next.

In the next inning, Williams would give up a leadoff double and then a single up the middle. Freshman Jordan Friedman came in relief and struck out a batter, but would give up a bases loaded triple. The sixth inning would end with five runs in for the Wildcats.

Metz was never available to pitch because the team needed him in the field at shortstop.

GW did battle back in the eighth, but the liner caught off of Mahala’s bat would prove to be the last scare.

“I think I’m seeing them turn the tide a little bit, in terms of playing at a more regular, consistent energy level as well,” Ritchie said. “They’re realizing there are things we’re up against that most teams typically aren’t up against and they’re just deciding to embrace it now and go get it.”

Series Recap

Game 1: GW 3, Davidson 2

Bobby LeWarne gave up one run in the first, but didn’t allow another run until the seventh inning. He would go 7.1 innings, scattering nine hits for the two runs on 113 pitches.

What has turned into the usual bullpen combo of Justin Friedman to junior Eddie Muhl closed out the game. Friedman stranded a baserunner in the eighth. Muhl escaped trouble in the ninth, leaving two on base to earn his eighth save of the season.

Junior Bobby Campbell went 3-5 at the plate, with two RBI singles in the first and third.

Game 2: GW 4, Davidson 7

Shane Sweeney’s final line doesn’t read too well: 5.0 plus innings pitched, allowing 11 hits, seven runs, all earned. Ritchie says that poor defense on the left side of the infield, manned by junior Cody Bryant at third base and Eli Kashi at shortstop, cost them. He credits five runs to the misplayed balls by the defense.

Senior Luke Olson finished the final three frames, keeping the bullpen fresh for the series rubber match.

Campbell stayed hot, going 2-4 with a two-out RBI single in the fifth.

Game 3: GW 7, Davidson 8

The Colonials were up 4-1 headed into the fifth inning, at which point Brady Renner had just about reached his pitch count limit, as he continues to rehab a back shoulder strain.

GW would give up seven runs on six hits in consecutive innings to eventually lose the game and the series.

In the eighth inning, GW would score three runs, but leave two on base in scoring position, following a hard lineout by Mahala and a fly out by sophomore Brandon Chapman.

Campbell went 3-5, with two more RBIs, batting .571 in the series and driving in five runs. Mahala also knocked in two runs. Sophomore Matt Cosentino, getting the start in left, went 4-5 with three runs scored.

Up Next: GW will play at Towson, Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. Robbie Metz is a potential starter for the midweek game.

The Colonials will then host George Mason in an important A-10 series. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday’s game is at 1 p.m. and then Sunday’s Bark at Barcroft game, the annual bring-your-dog-to-the-stadium day, is at noon.

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Sophomore guard Paul Jorgensen drives to the hoop in GW's victory over Saint Peter's. Jorgensen is set to transfer out of the men's basketball program this offseason. Ashley Le | Hatchet Photographer

Sophomore guard Paul Jorgensen drives to the hoop in GW’s victory over Saint Peter’s. Jorgensen is set to transfer out of the men’s basketball program this offseason. Ashley Le | Hatchet Photographer

Sophomore guard Paul Jorgensen will transfer out of the men’s basketball program, according to a tweet by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.

Jorgensen averaged 4.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game across 38 games played during the Colonials’ 2015-2016 NIT Championship campaign.

Sharing the GW’s sixth man spot with graduate student guard Alex Mitola, Jorgensen averaged 15.7 minutes per game, the most by any non-starter. His 81 total assists were the third-most on the team.

With the help of two former players, head coach Mike Lonergan recruited the 6-foot-2-inch guard into the program two years ago.

The New City, N.Y. native averaged 17.8 points per game in his senior season at Don Bosco Prep, and had already earned nicknames like “The Prince Harry of Harlem” and “White Jesus” on New York City’s street-ball courts before arriving at Foggy Bottom.

In his freshman year, Jorgensen averaged 3.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and 10.2 minutes in 35 games played.

Jorgensen’s departure opens up yet another spot on the 2016-2017 men’s basketball roster, as the team also loses Mitola and three seniors this offseason. The GW backcourt will return Yuta Watanabe, Matt Hart, Jordan Roland and junior Jaren Sina, a Seton Hall transfer who sat out this past season per NCAA rules.

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The National Invitation Tournament Champion men’s basketball team was honored by the D.C. Council Tuesday with a resolution congratulating the team on its success.

The well-wishers have been well-wishing pretty much non stop since last Thursday, when the Colonials defeated Valparaiso to earn GW’s first-ever win in the finals of a national postseason tournament. Everyone has wanted a piece of the Colonials and, frankly, it looks exhausting.

Head coach Mike Lonergan barely had time to towel off after getting doused after the win.

LETS GOOOOO!!!!!! #BannersDontLie #GoGetIt

A video posted by Maurice Joseph (@coachmojo_gw) on

That must have been a weird trip through security. Right after the win, Lonergan, his family and the rest of the coaching staff flew off to Houston for the Final Four. Lonergan didn’t even sleep, though assistant coach Carmen Maciariello caught a bit of shuteye. This reporter has been unable to discern whether those are shorts or capris.

The Final Four gave Lonergan a chance to reconnect with some other members of the GW basketball community, like Notre Dame men’s basketball head coach and GW Athletics Hall of Famer Mike Brey.

Brey had been supporting the Colonials all along.

Dickie V was there.

Awesome, baby!

The team went home to D.C., where the Washington Nationals had some congratulations for them, too.

Victory is sweet.

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