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Jimmy Best

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:35 p.m.

Colonials walk off with 10-9 victory over Navy

Senior Stephen Oswald runs towards first base during one of the Colonials' games earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo.

Fresh off a win over UMES, the Colonials returned to the diamond today for a 10-inning stand against Navy that ended with a walk-off 10-9 victory.

GW overcame a four-run deficit for the victory with junior Ryan Hickey drilling the walk-off RBI single to ensure the win by hitting a ground ball through the left side of the infield.

The Colonials were ahead 3-0 after the second but Navy took advantage of a GW fielding error for a four-run third inning, continuing its offensive streak in the fourth to push their lead to 6-3. The Colonials briefly answered with a run in the fourth, before Navy scored a pair of runs off an RBI double in the sixth to pull ahead 8-4.

The two teams traded runs before GW scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull within one, and continued its rally in the ninth. The Colonials forced extra innings by tying the game in the bottom of the ninth, starting when Navy walked senior Stephen Oswald. He was substituted for pinch runner Hickey, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Senior Jimmy Best nailed a double to center field, sending Hickey home and setting the stage for his walk-off hit an inning later.

Best finished the game 2-for-2 with two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks, and sophomore Owen Beightol went 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI.

The Colonials conclude their 10-game home stand this weekend when they host Charlotte for a three-game series, beginning Friday at 4 p.m.

 

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 9:33 p.m.

Baseball team defeats UMES 9-6

Senior Stephen Oswald runs towards first base during one of the Colonials' games against St. Bonaventure. Hatchet File Photo.

After a weekend that saw GW suffer a series sweep against St. Bonaventure, the Colonials returned to the field today to take down UMES 9-6.

It was a game marked by heavy hitting, with the two teams combining for 15 runs and 23 hits. GW took a 1-0 lead in the first, but UMES returned to tie it in the second. The Colonials remained unfazed, pulling ahead in the bottom of the second off an RBI from Jimmy Best. It was a sign of play to come from the senior, who finished the game with a home run, three hits and five RBIs.

The Hawks briefly hit their way to a 3-2 lead before GW exploded for a five-run third inning. Senior Stephen Oswald hit an RBI double to tie it, and sophomore Owen Beightol lined a single through the left side of the infield to join Oswald on base. Following a strikeout, Best took the plate to smash a home run, scoring himself, Beightol and Oswald. Freshman Grant Brown was next to head to the plate for GW and hit the first home run of his career to put up back-to-back homers for the Colonials.

UMES continued to score, pulling within two before Beightol hit an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to tack another tally to GW’s score. Best rounded out the Colonials’ scoring for the day with another RBI in the fifth, scoring junior Ryan Hickey, who had hit a triple earlier in the inning.

Junior pitcher J.T. Wauford pitched five innings on the win, allowing six runs, four earned, with two walks and three strikeouts. Junior Justin Albright shifted from second base to the mound to earn the save, allowing just two hits and one walk over four shutout innings.

The Colonials host Navy tomorrow afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Brennan Murray

No lead can ever be too comfortable in a baseball game, a lesson the Colonials (12-20) underlined Wednesday against No. 24 Virginia.

Though a first-inning offensive power trip gave GW a four-run advantage out of the gates, the Cavaliers eventually regained the upper hand. Spreading 16 runs over five innings, Virginia’s hitters proved too much for the Colonials’ pitching to quell, ultimately resulting in a 16-4 GW loss.

The Colonials’ first-inning rally exemplified the type of early energy the team has sought all season. After junior Derek Brown started things off with a single through the left side, senior Brett Bowers, who leads the team with a .317 batting average, smashed a double to right, scoring Brown.

The hitting spurt continued with two outs in the inning when senior Stephen Oswald placed a ball over the right-field wall, bringing the lead to two. Following a single by senior Ryan Thomas and a double by senior Jimmy Best, GW’s advantage rose to four on the scoreboard. But they were the last four runs the Colonials would score on the game.

The Cavaliers put together two huge offensive showings of their own in the third and fourth frames, tallying a total of 12 runs. Tallying scores in the first, second and seventh frames as well, Virginia’s offense proved tiring for GW, which sent a total of five pitchers to the hill on the day. Sophomore reliever Colin Milon provided the only scoreless inning of work, retiring the Cavaliers in a one-two-three fashion in the eighth, garnering two strikeouts.

The Colonials’ hitters found no answer for Virginia’s pitching after the first inning. They sprinkled just four hits over the final eight innings, failing to bring any runners on base to the plate.

GW heads Richmond Friday to play the first of its three games against the Spiders. Sitting at 2-4 in A-10 play, the Colonials have a chance to pull even or better in their conference record over the weekend’s competition.

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Senior Jimmy Best runs to first during a home game against Massachusetts last year. Hatchet File Photo.

Senior catcher Jimmy Best is on the watch list for the 2012 Johnny Bench Award, an accolade awarded to the nation’s top Division I catcher based on athletic ability, sportsmanship, team leadership and character. The honor is awarded by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission and will be presented at the conclusion of this year’s College World Series.

Over the Colonials’ seven games this season, Best is hitting a team-best .429, with one home run and six RBIs. He was named the College Sports Madness Atlantic 10 Player of the Week on Monday.

An award selection committee will narrow the watch list down to the semifinalists and the committee will then send relevant statistical information on each semifinalist to the national selection committee by the end of May. A vote by the national selection committee will then narrow the list to three finalists. The final recipient will be determined by a vote during the College World Series.

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Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 9:16 a.m.

Weekend sports round-up

Kara Clauss, softball

Senior Kara Clauss pitches for the Colonials last season. | Hatchet File Photo

A lot of Colonial sports teams were in action this weekend. Here’s a look at how they performed:

Softball

GW was swept in action at the Gamecock Invitational this weekend, falling to Elon Saturday before dropping to South Carolina and Appalachian State Sunday. The team’s competition Friday was canceled due to rain and will not be made up.

The Colonials (0-7) held Elon scoreless for five consecutive innings after allowing four runs in the first two innings but couldn’t make up the deficit for a victory, falling 4-1. Senior pitcher Kara Clauss struck out three batters and allowed just six hits, all of which came in the first four innings. GW’s only run came from senior Lauren Wilson, who scored off a single from freshman Victoria Valos.

Opening play Saturday, junior Autumn Taylor hit a two-run home run that put GW in the lead through the fourth inning against South Carolina. But at the top of the fifth, the Gamecocks added three runs on the board to pull ahead, followed by a run in the sixth to cement their 4-2 victory. The Colonials next took the field against Appalachian State, when the Mountaineers opened the bottom of the first inning with five runs off of six hits and followed that up with three additional runs in the second. Taylor hit another two-run homer in the bottom of the second, but that would be GW’s only scores on the game, falling 8-2.

GW next hosts Drexel in a double-header Wednesday, with action slated to begin at 2 p.m.

Baseball

GW traveled to Cary, N.C., to face Army this weekend, opening play with two losses in a Saturday doubleheader but bouncing back for a victory on Sunday.

The Colonials (1-5) fell 11-6 to Army in the first game Saturday afternoon. The lead changed hands throughout the early innings before sophomore Owen Beightol advanced two runners with a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the seventh, followed by junior Derek Brown, who hit a clutch two-run single to tie the score at six. Those were the last scores GW would tally on the contest, as Army scored two runs in the eighth and three runs in the ninth to grab the victory.

The Black Knights carried that rally to the second game of the afternoon, scoring three runs in the top of the first off of GW sophomore starter Aaron Weisberg. Weisberg ultimately pitched five innings, yielding four runs with two walks and five strikeouts. The Colonials couldn’t find success at the plate, remaining scoreless on the eventual 5-0 loss after Army added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

GW picked up its first win of the season Sunday off the strength of junior pitchers Tyler McCarthy and Kenny O’Brien who stayed strong at the mound amid a pitchers’ duel for the Colonials’ 1-0 victory. McCarthy started the game, allowing just one hit with one walk and three strikeouts. O’Brien took over in the top of the sixth and didn’t allow a hit while striking out five. The sole score of the game came in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Brown drew a one-out walk and then advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt from senior Brett Bowers. Fellow senior Jimmy Best followed that with an RBI single to right field to score Brown and give GW the winning score.

The Colonials next head to Duke for a three-game series, with first pitch scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m.

Gymnastics

The Colonials wrapped up their six-game road stand at North Carolina Friday, falling 195.625-192.525 to their EAGL rival.

For the sixth time this season, junior Stephanie Stoicovy placed in the all-around, finishing third with a career-high 38.875. She scored 9.750 on vault, 9.550 on uneven bars, 9.750 on balance beam and a career-high tying 9.825 on the floor exercise.

GW scored a season-high 48.625 on the vault, paced by freshman Elena Corcoran, who tied for third with a team-high 9.775, followed closely by Stoicovy and freshman Courtney Willoughby, who tied for fifth with 9.750. Sophomore Betsy Zander finished in third place on the balance beam with a career-high 9.775, and fellow sophomore Kiera Kenney led the team on the uneven bars, tying for fourth place with 9.725.

The Colonials return to the Smith Center to host EAGL rival Pittsburgh March 3.

Women’s water polo

The Colonials played four games as a part of the CWPA vs. MAAC Weekend at Princeton’s DeNunzio Pool, capturing two victories Saturday but tallying two losses Sunday.

GW (4-3) opened play with an 11-5 victory over Villanova Saturday. The Colonials and Wildcats were tied through of the first half, but GW took the lead for good on a goal by sophomore Katherine Berry with just a minute and 36 seconds to play in the second quarter, nabbing a  5-4 lead at halftime. GW outscored Villanova 6-1 in the second half to earn the win. Sophomore Megan Brolley paced the Colonials with four goals, while Berry tallied two goals, two assists and two steals, and freshman goalie Chandler Vilander recorded five saves.

The Colonials carried that power into its next match against Siena, picking up a 13-5 win, where GW went a perfect 8-for-8 on the power play. Freshman Meagan Moreland paced GW’s attack with five goals, while Berry added three and senior Monica Hanson dished out six assists, while Vilander halted eight shots in goal.

But GW’s success couldn’t carry over to the second day of competition, falling to Wagner 14-6 before dropping to Iona 16-10.

The Colonials were down by just a goal early in the game, but Wagner used a 4-1 second period to unseat GW. The Seahawks shut down the team’s power play, GW converting on just two of 10 extra-man opportunities. Sophomore Allison Littlejohn netted two goals in the game, while Vilander stayed strong at the other end of the pool, tallying a career-high 12 saves.

In the second game of the day, Iona used an explosive first half to take a 6-2 lead after the first quarter and an 11-4 advantage at halftime. Though GW outscored the Gaels 6-5 in the second half, it wasn’t enough to overcome the first-half slide. Brolley led GW with four goals, followed by Berry, who added three. Sophomore Rachael Bentley added four assists, and Vilander recorded nine saves in goal.

GW next heads to Cambridge, Mass., March 3 to face CWPA rivals Bucknell and Brown.

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