This post was written by Hatchet reporter Ellee Watson.
Following an exciting season opener, the Colonials lost their first series of the season this weekend, getting swept by the Southeastern Louisiana Lions.
Facing one of the toughest teams on their schedule, who regularly plays College of World Series teams like LSU, the Lions were just too deep of a team to overcome. Southeastern’s bullpen depth would outlast the Colonials, who brought their energy to play against one of the “big teams,” as head coach Gregg Ritchie called them.
“The guys faced some adversity this weekend, but it is all part of the growth,” Ritchie said.
In the first and final game of the series, the Colonials took the lead early and held the Lions off until the middle innings, but then the games flew open in large part because GW pitchers could not carry the team deep into the game.
“We need out pitchers to step up to the mound and throw strikes and to stop giving up walks,” Ritchie said.
The final game of the series against Southeastern, followed that trend, starting out strong for GW. Freshmen Kevin Mahala and Bobby Campbell nailed a double steal in the top of the second inning and both scored on Southeastern errors to take an early 2-0 lead.
The Lions would tie the game quickly in the third inning, after a run-scoring single in both the second and third innings from Kevin Carr and Jacob Seward.
GW would give up three more runs and fall behind 5-3 in the fifth inning, when starting pitcher – sophomore Jacob Williams – was taken out of the game in favor of senior Colin Milon.
Freshman Eddie Muhl replaced Milon in the bottom of the seventh inning, but quickly came out after allowing four runs off of three hits in 0.1 innings. Southeastern had run away with it, bringing the score to its final count of 9-3. Freshman Andrew Piccin finished the game allowing two hits and no runs.
Campbell led the offense in the final game with three hits, followed by senior Owen Beightol with two. Mahala, freshman Collin Gibbons-Fly, and Campbell each scored a run, while Beightol added an RBI.
The Colonials finished the night with 7 hits and 2 errors against the Lions’ 12 hits and 4 errors.
In the series opener, Beightol put the Colonials on the scoreboard first, reaching base on an infield single, stealing second and scoring when Mahala reached on an error.
Right-handed senior pitcher Luke Staub started the game strongly, tagging out in the bottom of the fourth after allowing only one-earned hit. Sophomore Bobby LeWarne took the mound with the score tied 1-1.
LeWarne would come out after just two innings, though, after allowing the Lions to score four runs on three hits and three walks. The Lions capitalized on a fielding error to bring the score to 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Piccin finished the game once again with a scoreless 1.2 innings, but the offense could do nothing to muster a comeback.
The following night, the Lions took the lead easily. The Colonials entered the fourth inning already trailing 9-0, at which point Beightol hit a home run over the left-field wall to put GW on the scoreboard.
“Beightol is stepping up and playing the role we need him to play,” Ritchie said.
Beightol revitalized the offense in the eighth inning, leading a series of singles from Mahala and fellow freshmen Jon Steele, Cody Bryant and Joey Bartosic. A double from junior Ryan Xeopoleas put the game at 14-7, but once again, the Lions were able to hold on for the win.
“That game showed we have a lot of fight; these boys won’t give up easily,” Ritchie said.
The Colonials play next at home Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. against Delaware State.