Courtside

Your Guide to GW sports

Tag

Owen Beightol

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.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

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.”

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:28 a.m.

Baseball earns two A-10 weekly awards after series win

by admin

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.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

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.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

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.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 8:55 p.m.

Mental errors late cost GW in 7-5 loss to Hornets

by admin

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.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 1:23 p.m.

Baseball swept in first series of season

by admin

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.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 8:15 p.m.

Walk-off single gives GW an opening day victory

by admin

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.

It was opening day, but the Colonials couldn’t catch a break all game.

Freshman Andrew Selby, the team’s No. 9 hitter, changed that luck. It was his walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth that gave GW a 3-2 win over University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. Selby would go a perfect 2-2 at the plate, his hits coming in the seventh and ninth innings, with two runs batted in and two walks.

The Hawks jumped on the board first in the fourth, as senior pitcher Aaron Weisberg was punished on two flat sliders. A couple hits snuck inside the foul lines and despite five strikeouts through three innings, GW was down two.

Over the next three innings, the young Colonial offense flirted with scoring, but the Hawks halted them with solid defense, cleanly fielding every ball on the snowless Barcroft Park turf.

Just after, before the start of the seventh inning, it started to rain; and the odds began to tilt in GW’s favor.

In the bottom of the seventh, they finally pushed one across on a seeing-eye single from Selby that snuck through the right side of the infield. The next batter, junior college transfer Ryan Xepoleas, sent a deep shot to right-center that was tracked down by the UMES center fielder. It would have scored two.

“I turned to a couple of the guys in the dugout and said, ‘Here it is, we’re going to get it again. We’re going to have one fall,’” head coach Gregg Ritchie said.

In the eighth, it was small ball that got the job done for GW. The reigning Atlantic 10 coach of the year elected to play the percentages with his cleanup hitter, senior Owen Beightol, at the plate. Runners were on first and second with no outs. Bunt. Second and third one out.

Then, a sacrifice fly to center field from freshman Bobby Campbell, who had made a spectacular double-play at third base to end the seventh inning, tied the game. The Colonials would fail to push another across in the frame.

On the mound, Ritchie elected to use one of his freshmen, Eddie Muhl. The sidearmer worked himself into a jam with a lead-off walk, but slowly shook off the nerves and settled in. A couple ground balls and he was out of it; time for the offense to take a crack at an opening day win.

It would come down to the freshman right fielder, batting last in the lineup.

Freshman first baseman Cody Bryant singled up the middle to start the inning. Ritchie pinch ran freshman Joey Bartosic and as sophomore catcher Matthieu Robért faked a bunt attempt, Bartosic had stolen second. A couple pitches later, Robért laid down a sacrifice, but it was fielded and thrown to third – Bartosic was safe.

Electing not to walk the bases loaded and set up a force play, UMES brought their infield in and pitched to Selby – daring him to end it.

He responded by smacking the ball through the right side of the infield once more for the game-winning single, as the whole team stormed out of the dugout to celebrate down the line.

“The older guys pounded it into us that we needed a win right away,” Selby said. “Keep battling and keep fighting and we definitely saw that today, getting down 2-0 and then scratching and clawing to get runs and tie it up and eventually get a win.”

Weisberg started the game strong on the mound, recording five of his six strikeouts in the first three frames, but he failed to get any run support. Weisberg would go seven innings with two earned runs and five hits, spotting his fastball and nicely dropping off his off-speed pitches.

“For the first time out there, to be able stretch myself out felt good, especially early on,” Weisberg said. “Last couple innings I was kind of out of gas, but that’s kind of expected. Got to get used to everything.”

The Colonials, who did not record their first win until the 10th game of the season last year,
will look to improve on their 1-0 record in a three-game series against Southeastern Louisiana this weekend.

This post was updated Feb. 20, 2014 to reflect the following:

Correction appended
The Hatchet incorrectly identified Andrew Selby as Alexander. We regret this error.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Josh Solomon.

GW gave up 13 runs, surrendered 20 hits and committed three errors Friday in their season-ending loss to Saint Louis.

Ugly numbers, certainly. But despite the onslaught of offense by the Billkens – and the Colonials’ silent bats – GW did not walk away from the Charlotte stadium ashamed.

Instead, the team felt like they beat the odds, winning their first playoff game since 2004 after entering the season as the last-place pick in the 15-team conference and then starting a dreadful 0-9.

The Colonials finished the season winning eight of their last nine games to improve to 15-9 in league play, earning them the fifth seed for postseason play and their best conference finish since 2005.

All of this ultimately led to the Colonials’ exit from the A-10 tournament as a final four team. They were in the mix with the top teams from the division, including a Saint Louis team that is believed to make the College World Series regardless of whether they win and qualify for it.

The Billikens were the number one seed, but were upset early in their matchup with fourth-seeded Xavier in the second round, the same Musketeers team that upended GW in their first round matchup. The chain of events sent Saint Louis into the losers’ bracket in this double elimination format, setting them up with an eventual game against the streaking Colonials.

GW was fresh off a walk-off win earlier in the day against three-seeded Rhode Island. Ritchie elected to go with senior Justin Albright to start the game, instead of an array of other arms, including freshman Max Kaplow, one of the possible starters.

Albright, the team’s MVP, has led the Colonials all season, with the team often hinging on his performance at the plate. Albright normally found himself on the mound during middle-of-the-week games as an extra arm who could match up and work hard against other teams’ mid-week starters.

But the graduating senior was not able to match up well with Saint Louis’ potent offense. A leadoff double down the left-field line started the trouble for Albright and the Colonials and before GW could even think that this game was going to be a tight one, the Billkens had bopped the ball all around the GW outfield. Four doubles, five runs, five hits, one error and one out later, Albright was bounced from the game.

GW did fight back after the seven-run onslaught, scoring one run after senior Tyler McCarthy singled to right center to lead off the inning, took second on a wild pitch and then scored on a single by freshman Eric Kalman.

The Colonials would tack on just one more run in the fourth inning, courtesy of a junior Owen Bieghtol leadoff double and sacrifice fly to right field from senior Derek Brown, but the Billikens would tack on even more themselves.

Ritchie threw in several pitchers to piece together the game. Luke Staub finished up the first inning, followed by freshman Bobby LeWarne in the second.

Kaplow finally found his way to the mound in the third inning. He had yet to pitch in a league game since April 6 after developing arm fatigue, following throwing two consecutive complete games earlier in the season.

His first inning back was not as sharp as he might have wanted it to be though, giving up two runs on three hits, including one wild pitch to score a run. He settled down over his next two innings, giving up no hits and only rendering one base runner off a misplayed ball in the infield.

Three other pitchers came in to finish up, making it a grand total of seven Colonial pitchers, to the Billkens’ one, who threw a complete game with seven strikeouts.

GW finally got to Saint Louis’ pitcher in the ninth – sort of. Singles from Brown and Kalman and a walk set up a RBI single for Albright, his only hit in the game. They pushed across just one more on an error, before the game ultimately ended in their 13-4 defeat.

Saint Louis will move onto to play Xavier, the same team that beat both GW and the Billkens earlier in the tournament. They will also most likely find themselves in even further postseason ball at the College World Series.

As for the Colonials, the loss wraps up a 26-32 season, with a most impressive 15-9 record in the A-10 that saw them jump up from a last-place finish in 2012. They rode their 11 graduating seniors to their first A-10 championship appearance since 2006, and their first postseason win since 2004.

With several freshmen having started in the field this season, and 20 recruits coming in Ritchie’s first recruiting class, there’s one thing for sure: They won’t be picked to finish last next year.

  • Permalink
  • Comments (3)

Senior Justin Albright throws a pitch on Saturday against La Salle. Albright earned the win in the game and helped grab the sweep for the Colonials. Delaney Walsh | Hatchet Photo Editor

Less than three weeks ago, the Colonials stood with a 7-8 conference record, a distant ninth place in the Atlantic-10 standings and an unlikely playoff contender.

From many perspectives, it was the story of typical struggles under a first-year head coach, and of a rebuilding program still trying to find its legs.

Dayton, VCU, and La Salle – three conference foes – were all that remained on the schedule. Just finish out the season strong, bring in the new recruits, and start fresh next year.

But that’s not how the 2013 Colonials wanted to be remembered.

Instead, over the last 18 days, they’ve fought for a Dayton sweep, a VCU series win, and with Saturday’s 4-1 victory in their final regular season game, a sweep of La Salle.

The Colonials now sit with a 15-9 conference record, a remarkable four-place jump into the five spot of the playoff standings. They will face fourth-seeded Xavier in Charlotte, N.C. Wednesday.

“We knew we had to win a majority of the latter half of our season and conference games to have a shot to move forward,” senior Tyler McCarthy said. “We were able to lock it up yesterday and improve our seeding today, so we’re really excited about it.”

The Colonials have gone 8-1 over that stretch, led by McCarthy, senior Justin Albright and junior Owen Beightol, giving GW the chance to add on to their second-most A-10 titles in league history.

“I think we’ve come a lot closer as a team overall and when we won some conference games, I think they started to believe that, ‘Hey, we got a shot at this if we play well,’” associate head coach Tom Sheridan said. ”And over the last month, we’ve played good baseball. Even some of the games we lost we’ve been competitive on a daily basis.”

In Saturday’s season finale, senior day, head coach Gregg Ritchie turned to Albright to take the mound.

Coming in with only five pitching appearances on the year and a pedestrian 6.41 ERA, Albright surprised everyone but his team, maneuvering through a few thick jams to earn the win for himself and his fellow seniors.

“The most important thing for me at least, is that he’s [Albright’s] such a competitor and whatever he has to give that day is what you can always count on from him,” Sheridan said. “He did a great job, anytime he’s pitched for us this year he’s battled, and he continued to do that.”

Albright battled through one such jam in the bottom of the second, after letting the first two batters reach base on a walk and hit-by-pitch. A sacrifice bunt left runners on second and third with one out, and the Explorers threatening to end the senior’s outing early.

Albright responded by inducing a ground out back to the mound and getting the final batter of the inning to strike out looking. No runs and no hits for the inning.

“I just had to focus up a little bit harder and bear down and make good pitches so that they would get themselves out in a situation like that,” Albright said.

The Colonials backed up Albright’s resilient pitching performance with some run support of their own in the next inning.

After a double by senior Matthew Murakami to lead off the third, Matthieu Robèrt’s single to left field allowed Murakami to come around a score. With the bases loaded later in the inning, junior Owen Beightol hit a sac fly to right field that allowed senior Ryan Hickey to score, giving GW a 2-0 lead.

Albright got himself into another jam in the fourth, after two singles and a walk left the bases loaded with only one out. He struck out the next batter, appearing on his way to again ending the inning unscathed, but a single through the left side allowed one La Salle runner to score.

The damage luckily ended there thanks to a pinpoint throw from Beightol in left field and a controversial play at the plate that called out the second runner.

From there, the Colonials cruised on forward to the sweep, as Albright seemed to get stronger as the game went on, going three-up-three down in the fifth and sixth innings.

He finished the day with the win and a line of seven innings pitched, four hits allowed, one earned run, two walks and three strikeouts.

Thankful for his teammates over these past four years, he said he was proud of the way the team scrapped and executed their way to victory and to the playoffs.

“We’re not a power team, we’re not gonna drive home runs out of the park, but we’re gonna play small ball, score runs every inning, try to chip away, and good pitching has been our success all year,” Albright said.

Sticking to that strategy, the Colonials added some insurance runs for Albright, scoring one run in the bottom of the fourth off a single from Robèrt, giving him a total of two RBIs in the game.

Then in the eighth, after a double, single and walk loaded the bases, a sac-fly from Murakami allowed McCarthy to tag-up and score from third.

The game was left to the lately unhittable bullpen duo of senior Kenny O’Brien and junior Craig Lejeune, who together pitched a scoreless final two innings to get Lejeune his 10th save of the year.

Albright found his usual success on the offensive side of the plate, garnering one hit and three stolen bases, good enough for 28 steals on the year and a tie for second in the A-10.

Ritchie declined to comment on today’s sweep of the Explorers. He has not spoken to The Hatchet in over a month, after he said his team played “uninspired, ‘no care’ baseball” following an April loss. Ritchie was hired last offseason after working as the hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates

The Colonials will now move on to the A-10 tournament, held at Charlotte’s Hayes Stadium from May 22 to 25. The format is a bracket-style, double-elimination tournament, with GW expected to start junior Luke Staub in their first round game against fourth-seeded Xavier at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

GW has not squared off against the Musketeers this season, but the Colonials have momentum on their side as they enter the tournament.

“We’re happy we made the tournament, but we don’t want to be done there. We don’t want to just show up, lose two games and go home. We’d like to make an impact,” McCarthy said. “The moves we’ve made in the last couple of weeks have shown that we can pretty much stick with anyone. So we want to turn some heads and stick it to everyone.”

  • Permalink
  • Comments