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Owen Beightol

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 10:48 a.m.

Baseball earns four postseason awards

The Colonials celebrate a win earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

The Colonials celebrate a win earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.

After missing out on the Atlantic 10 playoffs, the baseball team received consolation from the conference in the form of four postseason awards.

Freshmen Bobby Campbell and Joey Bartosic were two of the 13 rookies selected for the A-10 All-Rookie team, while seniors Colin Milon and Owen Beightol were chosen for the A-10 All-Academic team.

Campbell started all 50 games for GW at third base, and repeatedly demonstrated stellar defense with deep range and a strong arm. He finished fourth on the roster with a .272 batting average and had seven doubles, 20 RBI and six stolen bases.

Used primarily as head coach Gregg Ritchie’s leadoff hitter, Bartosic started the season off hot, stringing together a 14-game hit streak that ranked third-longest in the conference. He finished the season with a .298 batting average, though he did not start or play every game of the season like Campbell. The outfielder also finished the year with 20 steals – tied for third-best in conference.

At the other end of the experience spectrum, the Colonials were grounded by the play of their senior core.

Beightol, the only senior bat in the lineup, steadied the Colonials with a team-high .337 batting average, tied with junior Ryan Xepoleas. Beightol finished the season with 65 hits, which ranked seventh in the A-10, as well as 14 doubles.

Beightol ended his career tied for second all-time with 213 games played. He was also third all-time with 797 at-bats and ninth all-time with 234 career hits.

After senior closer Craig LeJeune went down with a season-ending earlier this year, Milon stepped into the closer role almost seamlessly. He recorded six saves, which was tied for second-best in the conference, and finished with a team-best 2.94 ERA.

After a slow start to conference play with a rookie-heavy team, the Colonials will look to build off of this season’s 12-15 conference record. With freshmen Campbell and Bartosic returning and strong senior leadership from players like Xepoleas, GW will aim to have a turnaround season next winter.

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Senior Colin Milon delivers a pitch in a game against Saint Joseph's earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

Senior Colin Milon delivers a pitch in a game against Saint Joseph’s earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon

After stringing together five-straight must-win games to keep its hopes of a second consecutive playoff berth alive, the baseball team’s run fell short Friday in a 4-3 loss to St. Bonaventure.

The loss, combined with two wins by Richmond over Rhode Island and two wins by Fordham over VCU on Thursday, ended the Colonials’ chances at a berth in next week’s Atlantic 10 Championships.

The loss came on the heels of an impressive run in which GW, one of the youngest teams in the country, almost made a major statement in the conference by winning what would have been its seventh-straight game.

“[They’re] a bunch of young guys and they came within an eyelash of making the playoffs,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said.

GW could not get one more solid start from sophomore Jacob Williams, who Ritchie said is usually one of his most consistent players. The young right-hander failed to command his pitches, particularly his curveball. He battled through five innings, finishing with five hits and three runs, two earned.

On the offensive end, the Colonials played catch-up for the majority of the ball game. In the sixth inning, three key freshmen launched a two-run rally that tied the game. Joey Bartoisc led off the inning with a single and advanced by stealing second base. Andrew Selby followed by hitting a triple to right field, scoring Bartosic. Bobby Campbell then drove Selby home with a groundout RBI.

Down by one in the top of the eighth inning, GW pushed across one run to tie the game courtesy of a double by senior Owen Beightol and sloppy defense by the Bonnies.

After the two previous ties in the game, senior closer Colin Milon was on the mound for the Colonials in the bottom of the eighth inning with the game tied at 3-3.

The first pitch of the eighth got away from Milon and the Bonnies hitter capitalized, clearing the fence with a few inches to spare. Milon, who had a career year after moving into the fireman role when Craig LeJeune went down with a season-ending injury, was able to regain control and retire the next three St. Bonaventure batters. Ritchie said he expected nothing less from his closer, telling him after the game to keep his head high after “a hell of a year.”

Milon managed to retire the side after trouble early in the inning, which gave the Colonials a shot to make a run in the top of the ninth.

After freshman catcher John Steele reached on an error to lead off the inning, GW tried to execute one of its fairly successful hit and runs – a play that the team had started to use regularly down the stretch. A swing and a miss by freshman Eli Kashi dismantled the play, and Steele was thrown out at second.

Kashi ended the inning at bat with a strikeout and was followed by a ground out by Bartosic to end the game as well as playoff hopes for the Colonials.

It wasn’t their best game, Ritchie said, but it certainly was not their worst. Since the series with La Salle in mid April, Ritchie has credited his team with playing solid ball during every game within the last week.

“If you can’t say you were not disappointed by not moving on, you’re lying,” Ritchie said.

Without mustering another run GW, ended their bid for the seventh and final spot in the A-10 Championships. It was a run that few predicted for a team that started as many as seven freshmen in the lineup.

“It was about rebuilding the program and getting competitive and developing a line of leaders of consistency,” Ritchie said. “Every year, you play to make the playoffs and move on, and that’s the part we didn’t achieve. However, the rebuilding and the growth was simply enormous.”

After Saturday’s final regular season game against St. Bonaventure, the Colonials will lose several crucial members, including pitchers Aaron Weisberg, Luke Staub, Milon and LeJeune.

On the offensive side, Saturday’s game will mark the last for outfielder Owen Beightol, the team’s best hitter. With one game to play, Beightol leads the Colonials this season with a .364 batting average, 63 total hits and 29 runs scored. Beightol will be ranked third all-time in career at bats and second all-time in games played. He also ranks 22nd all time in RBI and 11th all time with 212 hits.

GW will conclude its season Saturday against St. Bonaventure at noon.

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The Colonials discuss strategy in a game against UMass earlier this season | Photo by Zach Montellaro | Hatchet staff photographer

The Colonials talk strategy in a game against UMass earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo by Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Ellee Watson.

The baseball team kept playoff hopes alive Thursday, winning a crucial road match against St. Bonaventure 7-5 in the first of a three-game series.

The win marks the fifth-straight victory for a GW team that is steadily chasing Fordham for the seventh and final spot in the Atlantic 10 Championships, which start next week.

To make the A-10 Championships in St. Louis, the Colonials have in front of them a handful of scenarios that also rely on the play of Fordham and Richmond. After winning twice Thursday against VCU, Fordham currently sits at 13-13 in the A-10 standings with one game left to play. Richmond, which lost to Rhode Island 6-5 Thursday, are 11-12 and have two games remaining against the Rams.

If Fordham sweeps VCU, the Rams are securely in the playoffs. However, if Fordham loses to VCU Friday and the Colonials sweep the Bonnies, GW will earn a spot in the tournament.

The situation is similar with the Spiders. If Richmond wins the final two games against Rhode Island, it will be enough to secure a playoff berth. But if the Spiders drop one or both remaining games to the Rams, coupled with a Colonials sweep of St. Bonaventure, GW will be headed to the playoffs.

Knowing the stakes, the players started strong out of the gate, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. After freshman Joey Bartosic’s single to the pitcher, the Colonials stole two bases and strung together two hits, leading to two runs batted in and a two-run lead at the end of the first.

Starting pitcher Aaron Weisberg struggled to slow down the bats of the Bonnies offense, allowing 11 hits and four runs – two earned – through seven innings. The senior’s go-to pitch of the afternoon was his fastball as Weisberg tossed 94 fastballs out of the 113 total pitches he threw in the outing.

After only scoring one run in seven innings, the Bonnies made a late surge in the bottom of the eighth inning and scored three runs on four hits off of Weisberg. Luke Staub, a senior, relieved Weisberg with one out in the inning and quickly retired the side. Staub also pitched the ninth inning for GW, allowing one run while earning the save and cementing the win for Weisberg.

Although the Bonnies outhit the colonials 14-9, GW capitalized on a number of at-bats with runners in scoring position to secure the win. The Colonials showed a balanced offense Thursday as each of their seven runs were scored by different players.

Head coach Gregg Ritchie dismissed the hit count, saying he thought his team had the better offense.

“We had quality at-bats up and down the lines and had six walks,” Ritchie said. “We executed hit-and-runs, bunts, squeezes, and those were big at-bats.”

Five of the seven starting freshmen – Andrew Selby, Cody Bryant, Kevin Mahala, Eli Kashi and Bartosic – all scored runs for the Colonials. Junior Ryan Xepoleas and senior Owen Beightol boasted the other two runs.

“The top five guys in particular really executed well, and then freshman Jon Steele followed with an RBI ground-out,” Ritchie said.

The Colonials face St. Bonaventure in the second game Friday at 2 p.m.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014 10:26 p.m.

Baseball takes UMass series on late inning walk-off

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon

After Friday’s loss against Massachusetts, in which the baseball team blew a three-run lead and ruined a strong start from senior Aaron Weisberg, head coach Gregg Ritchie remained optimistic for the final two games of an important series.

“I told the guys, ‘Hey, the game throws some mad twists at you man. It comes at you at different angles and sometimes it’s like ooh, you can’t even believe that happened,’” Ritchie said.

On Saturday, the Colonials came out and shut down the Minutemen in a 3-1 win, scoring all three runs in the eighth inning.

Sunday, GW fully redeemed its Friday meltdown, beating UMass on a walk-off single by senior Owen Beightol – part of a three-run ninth inning – to take the series. The win marked the team’s second-straight Atlantic 10 series win.

The Colonials discuss strategy in Saturday's game against UMass | Photo by Zach Montellaro | Hatchet staff photographer

The Colonials discuss strategy in Saturday’s game against UMass | Photo by Zach Montellaro | Hatchet staff photographer

Confidence grew throughout the weekend series, but on Easter Sunday – in front of a packed crowd – it looked like the Colonials were going to lay an egg.

GW had a 2-0 lead after three innings thanks to a towering shot from junior Ryan Xepoleas that hit the right-center field scoreboard.

But the Minutemen started to creep back into the game, as sophomore Bobby LeWarne gave up four unanswered runs: two in the fourth, one in the fifth and one in the sixth. By the top of the sevenths, UMass had jumped ahead of GW 4-2.

With the offense unable to string together consecutive hits and score runs late in the game, Ritchie described the dugout feeling as a “lull,” adding that it felt “almost like deflation.” The second-year head coach tried talking to his ballclub in an effort to remind his players to settle down and have fun playing the game.

“I said, ‘Hey look, the game throws some funny twists at you. It’s going to be the team that stays the most mentally tough down the stretch,’” Ritchie said. “‘What I want you to do, come hell or high water, no matter how this game ends, that the self pity stops and the focus and the fun of playing the finish to this game begins.’”

In the ninth, every member of the team played their part to spark a rally. Players hung over the railing at the top step of the dugout to heckle the UMass pitcher. At the plate, patient hitters were told to take pitches until their counts drew two strikes, helping to load the bases and eventually walk in one run with one out.

The only player without the take sign, however, was freshman Bobby Campbell.

The young third baseman had been working all week, preparing for the breaking ball opposing teams once threw to get ahead of him in the count. With the count at 3-1 in Campbell’s ninth-inning at-bat, the right-hander slammed a breaking ball into left field, scoring the game-tying run.

Following Campbell was Beightol: GW’s cleanup hitter. Beightol fell behind in the count early 0-2, but eventually worked the count even and lined the next pitch right to the third baseman.

“I knew I hit it really hard but I hit it right to him, so I thought it was going to be a double play,” Beightol said. “But then when it hit him in the chest I knew we were going to win.”

The winning run came across and the team mobbed Beightol over at first base to celebrate the win – and more importantly – the chance to be back in the mix for a playoff hunt.

Series Recap:

Friday saw a 4-1 GW lead squandered to a 5-4 loss, under an uncharacteristic blown save by senior Colin Milon. Molin, who received the Warren Fulton award before Sunday’s game, gave up three runs and was tagged with the loss. Weisberg, who started Friday’s game, finished with a line of 7.1 innings, five strikeouts and three earned runs on 10 hits. Beightol led the Colonials going 3-4 at the plate with two runs scored. Freshman Kevin Mahala drove in two runs on the day.

Saturday, the Colonials rebounded with a 3-1 win. Sophomore Jacob Williams earned his fourth win of the season, throwing eight innings, while allowing two runs on eight hits. He was efficient with 95 pitches, one strikeout and two walks. Campbell came up with the big hit in the eighth to score two of his fellow freshman teammates, Joey Bartosic and Maahla.

In Sunday’s 5-4 win, LeWarne didn’t have his best stuff, but worked through 5.1 innings. He gave up 11 hits and allowed four runs on 93 pitches. LeWarne’s toughest stretch came in the fourth inning when he gave up two runs and was hit with a come-backer on the heel of his glove hand.

“My change up wasn’t on today but [I] just [just kept] battling,” LeWarne said. “As long as you’re in the zone it usually works out. I’m just glad Eddie [Muhl] saved my ass and got a ‘W’ for us.”

Muhl came in and finished the game, earning both the win and recognition from his coach, who said it was a “big moment of growth.”

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Ellee Watson.

The Colonials offense proved to be aggressive, but unfortunately not deep enough against the Towson Tigers Wednesday.

Senior Owen Beightol hits in GW's win over George Mason earlier this season. The senior led the Colonials with three hits against Towson Wednesday. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Senior Owen Beightol hits in GW’s win over George Mason earlier this season. The senior led the Colonials with three hits against Towson Wednesday. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

GW outhit the Tigers 12-10, but couldn’t get the big hit when it needed, leaving a total of nine runners on base and allowing Towson to grab the win, 5-3.

Towson got on the board first in the top of the second inning, with two runs off three hits.The Colonials quickly answered in the bottom half of the frame to take the lead 3-2. Senior Owen Beightol hit a double, and freshman Colin Gibbons-Fly singled to left field for an RBI. Sophomore Matthieu Robèrt followed with hit-by-pitch and later scored on a sacrifice fly from freshman Kevin Mahala. Fellow freshman Eli Kashi gave GW the early lead with a single up the middle that scored Gibbons-Fly for the final run of the inning.

The Colonials could not capitalize on their offense, though, over the next three innings and were left with their slim one-run advantage. They left two runners on base at the end of the third, fourth and seventh innings.

The Tigers, on the other hand, secured the win with some timely hitting: a solo home run from Brady Policelli in the top of the fourth inning and an RBI single from Pat Fitzgerald earned them back the lead.

Freshman righty Jordan Sheinkop started his first collegiate game for GW, staying in until the top of the sixth inning with a pitch count of 78. He allowed four earned runs off of six hits.

Senior Luke Staub stepped up to the mound to keep his team within scoring distance, and did, giving up four hits, but no runs in relief. GW couldn’t push any late runs across, though, and the score held at 5-3.

Freshman lead-off hitter Joey Bartosic and senior Owen Beightol led the Colonials’ offense with three hits each. Mahala, Kashi and Gibbons-Fly each had an RBI on the day.

Last season, the Colonials finished 17th in stolen bases in Division I baseball. They have continued to try and overcome their lack of power with speed this season, going 35-55 on stolen base attempts. In crucial moments down the stretch Wednesday, though, the aggressiveness didn’t pay off, with Beightol getting caught stealing in the seventh inning and Freshman Bobby Campbell getting caught in the ninth.

The Colonials travel to Philadelphia, Pa. this weekend for a three-game Atlantic 10 series against La Salle.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Ellee Watson.

The Colonials got caught sleeping early Tuesday, but quickly woke up from their slumber to erupt for a 10-4 victory over Coppin State.

The Colonials celebrate on the field after their win against George Mason last Friday. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

GW entered the game coming off a two-game losing streak to George Mason. That losing energy didn’t carry over against the Eagles, though, as the Colonials slowly built their lead until the Eagles were left fluttering behind.

On the game’s first pitch, freshman second baseman Eli Kashi committed an error to let Coppin State on base. Two batters later, a RBI single up the middle quickly put GW behind, 1-0. A wild pitch and an extra base on a botched bunt rotation gave the Eagles two more base runners, but the Colonials escaped with just the one earned run.

Entering the game, the GW baseball program had never lost to Coppin State, holding a 29-0 series advantage. But despite their historical dominance, head coach Gregg Ritchie believed the Eagles had a legitimate shot – especially after the first inning.

“Every team can beat you if you give them the opportunity,” Ritchie said, “and we gave them an opportunity. They had an opportunity to get us. They, unfortunately for them, didn’t do it. Fortunately for us, we held on.”

His team responded to its first inning blunders with three runs over the next two innings. By the bottom of the fifth, the Colonials were leading 4-2, and decided to break things open. Responsible for the eruption was the heart of GW’s batting order: freshman Bobby Campbell, senior Owen Beightol, and junior Ryan Xepoleas.

Campbell took the plate with one out and drew a walk from Coppin State pitcher Jhar Delvime. Beightol was next and roped a triple to bring Campbell in, making the score 5-2. Xepoleas followed with a double to bring Beightol in for a 6-2 lead.

The three, four and five slots in the Colonials’ line-up brought the score to its final 10-4 tally with an RBI from Campbell, another hit from Beightol and another RBI from Xepoleas.

Campbell finished the game with one run and RBI and Beightol with two runs, two hits and two RBIs. Xepoleas added three hits, one run, and three RBIs.

Sophomore Matthieu Robèrt could not practice all weekend with a stomach virus, but Ritchie decided to keep him in the lineup as the designated hitter. Robèrt rose to the occasion, going 4-4 and leading the offense with two runs, four hits, and four RBIs.

Earning his first collegiate victory was freshman starting pitcher Brandon Ritchie. He had trouble out of the gates, throwing three wild pitches, but his final line was more than deserving of the win: six innings pitched, three earned runs and four strikeouts on 98 pitches.

Freshman Eddie Muhl came in for the three-inning save, but also had trouble to start, “throwing ball one, ball two”, Ritchie said. “He was in trouble every inning except that last one.”

The Colonials face Towson at Barcroft Park Wednesday before heading to Philadelphia for an Atlantic 10 series against La Salle.

“We got to come out [against Towson] with some energy and a better attitude and effort to get going right in the first inning,” Ritchie said. “We have a chance to create a legitimate streak because one is not, two is. It would be nice to get that win and take us into that weekend A-10 series. That’s the key. Take the win into the A-10 series, and see if we can get a sweep.”

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.

It’s been a good week for GW sports. While the basketball teams are headed into postseason play, the baseball team nabbed two weekly honors – sophomore Bobby LeWarne earned Atlantic 10 Co-Pitcher of the Week, while freshman Bobby Campbell won Rookie of the Week, the league announced Monday.

The second-year righty threw a complete-game, one-hit shutout against Monmouth to clinch a series victory for GW this weekend. It was LeWarne’s first win of the year as the Colonials improved to 6-10 on the season with A-10 play just around the corner.

The young pitcher out of Des Moines, Iowa worked economically, going the full nine innings on 105 pitches with 71 strikes. Although he only threw a first-pitch strike to less than half the batters he faced, LeWarne did not walk a single batter. He struck out seven Blue Hawks on the day, six of whom whiffed on the third strike.

LeWarne never faced much trouble and gave up his lone hit, a leadoff single to right field, in the sixth. His efforts did not go to waste with the offense, especially Campbell, coming up big. He singled home the winning run in the eighth inning on a base hit up the middle to score senior Owen Beightol, who had moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt.

Over the four games this week, in which GW went 3-1, Campbell batted .462 going 6-13. In the Colonials’ 11-4 rout over Saint Peter’s Tuesday he went 3-5 with two RBIs and one run scored. The first-year third baseman and local DMV product from St. Johns College High School leads the team with nine RBIs and is second on the team with a .320 batting average.

Last week, freshman Jacob Williams won the honors for Pitcher of the Week. He continued his strong start in the series opener against Monmouth, going seven innings, while allowing no runs and two hits on 81 pitches. Seniors Luke Staub and Colin Milon came on in relief to close out the 1-0 victory. It was Milon’s second save of the season.

The Colonials will play Georgetown in Bethesda, Wednesday afternoon before they begin conference action against Saint Joseph’s Friday in a three-game series.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Scott Nover.

Following an extra-innings victory to begin the weekend series against Cornell, the Big Red took the final three games from the Colonials to win the series over GW in Arlington.

With the three-consecutive losses, GW (3-9) is still without a series win this season.

The Colonials began the series in style Saturday, taking down the Big Red, 3-2, after two extra innings of play. Junior Ryan Xepoleas drew a four-pitch walk to send freshman Bobby Campball across home plate for the walk-off victory.

“We had a guy pitch, throw strikes. Executed a few things,” said head coach Gregg Ritchie. “We took advantage of a few mistakes. Played the game all the way through.”

The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader saw Cornell grab a 6-2 victory from the Colonials, with the Big Red outhitting GW eight to four. Sunday brought a second doubleheader, of which neither game satisfied Ritchie.

“We gave the game away,” said Ritchie of Sunday’s first game.

GW failed to capitalize on its fifth-inning opportunities, contributing to Ritchie’s fustration. Xepoleas was picked off at first based before freshman Joey Bartosic was caught stealing second, thwarting two possible scoring threats.

“We’re just a young team making a lot of mistakes,” Ritchie noted. “Six, seven freshmen in the lineup. We got to work our way through it and we got to stop making mistakes.”

Following the first game’s disappointing 4-3 loss, GW engaged in the fourth and final game of the weekend. The game quickly labeled itself a pitchers’ duel, with only five hits coming between the two teams in four innings of play. GW’s starting pitcher, sophomore Bobby Lewarne, felt the effects of fatigue, growing tired in the fifth inning as he gave up a pair of hits and an earned run.

“Bobby threw fine. He did well. Got tired in the fifth. Threw about 90 pitches,” Ritchie remarked. “Bobby did a nice job, and then we just proceeded to unfold.”

Lewarne exited in the sixth after letting up two singles and a triple, but his relief struggled throughout the end of the game. Freshman relievers Andrew Piccin and Brandon Ritchie combined to give up four hits and four runs before the ninth inning.

“Nobody threw any strikes,” Ritchie said. “We got whacked. Could not throw a strike, walked hitters, hit batters, couldn’t get the ball in play and never stopped the runner from running.”

Despite positive words about Lewarne’s opening frames of pitching and senior Owen Beightol’s solo home run in the seventh, Ritchie was overall displeased with how the series ended.

“Owen’s been Owen. Quiet and unassuming, just get’s up and plays,” Ritchie said of his senior second baseman.

But pitching was not the Colonials’ only challenge Sunday. The offense suffered as well, as GW picked up a mere three hits and one run in the 8-1 defeat. In fact, the Cornell batters outhit the Colonials 33-21 throughout the weekend, outscoring them 21-9.

Talking about his batters’ struggles against Cornell’s pitching, Ritchie said the biggest problem was “just staying on the ball.”

In the field, the Colonials committed seven errors in their four games against the Big Red.

Ritchie noted that with such a young team, inexperience has led to simple mistakes on the field. Speaking on advice he could give to his freshmen, Ritchie was blunt: “Play clean, basic, fundamental baseball.”

The 3-9 Colonials host St. Peter’s University on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Ellee Watson.

The Colonials endured a 10-inning shutout and walk-off victory, but were unable to grab the series win over Lafayette College.

GW got its fair share of hits – 25 – in the series, even out-hitting the Leopards, but they couldn’t push the runs across when it mattered most, scoring only 5 runs in the three games.

In the series’ third game, with two runners on base and no outs in the bottom of the ninth, junior Xavier Parkmond was caught trying to steal third, giving the Leopards their first out. It would effectively kill GW’s scoring threat, as consecutive outs by freshmen Cody Bryant and Andrew Selby clinched the 3-2 win for Lafayette.

The Leopards return home with a 2-4 overall record, while the Colonials fall to 2-6 on the season.

Junior Xavier Parkmond hits an RBI single earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

Junior Xavier Parkmond hits an RBI single earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

“That’s five games out of our six losses we had a tie or a lead and had opportunities all over the place,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said. “Guys got to get over the fear and stop playing scared.”

The Colonials split the double-header against Lafayette Saturday, losing the first game 4-2. Sophomore Jacob Williams would climb onto the mound for the second game just thirty minutes later and throw a 10-inning shutout that opened things up for GW’s 1-0 walk-off victory.

“It’s a pleasing thing that Williams was able to command as well as he did,” Ritchie said. “If you have a fastball command, no guys can hit you.”

In the bottom of the 10th inning, the Colonials capitalized on three Lafayette errors to earn the victory. Selby reached on an error by Lafayette pitcher Ari Kaufman and later advanced to third on an error by the catcher. Kaufman then intentionally walked freshman Joey Bartosic to load the bases, and two batters later, freshman Collin Gibbons-Fly’s fielders-choice scored Selby as the first baseman’s throw was off target.

Senior pitcher Aaron Weisberg started the first game, giving up four runs over seven innings with three strikeouts. Senior Taylor Lambke tagged him out, before freshman Eddie Muhl stepped in the ninth inning to close the game.

“After the UMES games, and before Jacob Williams, if you look at our pitching, we haven’t really been throwing strike one or throwing a strike on 1-1 and that’s really the big battle,” Ritchie said.

Sunday, starting senior pitcher Luke Staub threw three innings and gave up three runs before being replaced by sophomore pitcher Max Kaplow. Staub had thrown just 65 pitches and recorded only one strikeout.

Last weekend against Southeastern University, Kaplow gave up six earned runs in his start, unable to get out of the first inning. Ritchie was looking for a response.

“I told him he needed to get his act together,” Ritchie said, “He did some work inside. I told him he had a shot to show it. I need to see that energy.”

As a reliever against Lafayette, Kaplow put his foot down and brought that energy, going five innings with three strikeouts, giving up only one hit and three walks.

“He gets all fired up and excited and that’s how he goes,” Ritchie said. “He was really really good.”

On Sunday, the Leopards scored three runs in the top of the second inning to take a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, freshman Kevin Mahala hit a single and was brought in on a single by Bobby Campbell, making it 3-1.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Colonials had bases loaded with a chance to take the lead. Owen Beightol initiated the offense with a single, followed by Mahala who singled to center field and
Campbell who singled up the middle. With the bases loaded, freshman Eli Kashi missed his squeeze play attempt and Mahala got caught between third base and home plate, being tagged for the first out. Threat squandered.

Down 3-2 headed into the bottom of the ninth, the Colonials had the potential for an exciting comeback victory. GW would hit it solidly and get on base, but as Ritchie said, they couldn’t execute when it mattered.

“We didn’t get pitching in the beginning. We didn’t get hitting at the right times. We hit the ball,” Ritchie said, “this team has actually hit the ball in terms of getting some hits far ahead of last year, but the execution is not there.”

Mahala led the series with two runs followed by Xepoleas and Beightol with one apiece. Xepoleas also had six hits in the series, while Bartosic and Mahala each had three.

The Colonials are still in a comfortable position, Ritchie said, especially in comparison to their rough 0-9 start last year.

“I’m comfortable as long as they let their abilities play on the field and stop playing scared,” Ritchie said, “There is no excuse for mistakes being made by older guys who are supposed to be leading these
young guys.”

The Colonials next play the University of Virginia Wednesday at noon at Davenport Field in Charlottesville, Va.

This post was updated March 3, 2014 to reflect the following:

Correction appended
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Lafayette College was named University of Lafayette.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.

The Colonials, fresh off of a rough weekend sweep at Southeastern Louisiana, fell to Delaware State 7-5 at Barcroft Park Thursday.

Three runs came in the first for GW (1-4), but that lead would quickly disappear – a trend that would continue all game long. Two one-run innings were also erased and by the ninth inning, Delaware State had scored a run apiece in back-to-back innings to tie the game.

A communication error in the middle of the infield on a potential inning-ending double play led to one run on an errant throw. Then, a wild pitch brought home another run for the eventual final 7-5 score. Little mental mistakes by the freshmen wouldn’t cost GW the game, but they would make the loss on a bitterly cold day that much tougher.

Junior Xavier Parkmond hits an RBI single Thursday against Delaware State to extend GW's lead to 5-3 in the sixth inning. Josh Solomon | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Junior Xavier Parkmond hits an RBI single Thursday against Delaware State to extend GW’s lead to 5-3 in the sixth inning. Josh Solomon | Hatchet Staff Photographer

It was the first of four straight home games for the Colonials and 16 of their next 19.

“There was some scrap, but there’s still some immature, anxious play,” head coach Gregg Richie said. “There’s still in the moment kind of stuff where you have to have a slower heartbeat.”

GW threatened in the ninth with runners on first and second with two outs, but a flyout to left – where the wind was blowing out all game – ended the contest.

Sophomore Xavier Parkmond had a solid game in the two-hole, going 2-5, with one run and one run batted in. In his first at bat, he would stroke the first pitch to right center before going on to steal second. Freshman Colin Gibbons-Fly drove him in with a single down the right field line, helping chase the Hornets starting pitcher out of the lineup before the end of the first frame.

Parkmond would later single in sophomore Matthieu Robért from third to extend the lead to two in the sixth inning.

But it was the mistakes by the rookies in the last three innings that allowed Delaware State to chip at the lead. In the seventh, freshman Andrew Piccin walked in a run after loading the bases with two singles and a hit-by-pitch.

Senior Colin Milon would give up a leadoff homerun in the eighth – his first earned run of the season – that tied the game. Milon would eventually take the loss on the day.

Then came the ninth and a potential double-play ball to end the inning gone wrong. Freshman shortstop Kevin Mahala fielded the grounder, looked at second for freshman Eli Kashi – who came in the eighth as a pinch runner – but he wasn’t at the bag yet. Mahala tried to run it over himself, but realized there was not enough time, so he hurled a last second throw towards first that sailed to the Hornets dugout.

One run would score and Delaware State had a lead it would not give up.

“There was absolutely no communication from the word ‘Go’ on that,” Richie said.

Sophomore Bobby LeWarne, in his first start of the season, pushed through five innings with 93 pitches to keep the Colonials in it. The 6-foot-1 righty struggled to command his fastball all five innings, but spotted his off speed pitches in pivotal moments to work out of jams en route to eight strikeouts.

“My changeup was good. I used that most of the time,” LeWarne said. “If I kept my fastball low, I could’ve been more successful. Still working.”

In the second inning, he let up three runs to answer the three his offense had just put on the board. But they came unearned.

LeWarne retired the first two batters of the inning, but then gave up back-to-back Hornets singles. A ground ball to Mahala was bobbled, as he was screened by the base runner at second, loading the bases. The next batter roped a bases-clearing double to knot the game up at three.

For a first start, Richie was satisfied with his performance and said that once he starts locating his fastball, LeWarne will be their go-to middle of the week pitcher.

Heading into the weekend series against Lafayette, GW will start senior Aaron Weisberg and freshman Jacob Williams, respectively, for Saturday’s doubleheader. Both will look to go deep into their games and eat innings for the bullpen. Williams will be starting in spot of sophomore Max Kaplow, who did not record an out in his last outing. Senior Luke Staub is slated for the final action Sunday.

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