Your Guide to GW sports


Xavier Parkmond

Freshman Robbie Metz flies out in the first inning. Metz went 2-4 in GW's 2-1 loss to Davidson in the Atlantic 10 semifinals. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Freshman Robbie Metz flies out in the first inning. Metz went 2-4 in GW’s 2-1 loss to Davidson in the Atlantic 10 semifinals. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by senior staff writer Josh Solomon.

A slow heartbeat is the team’s philosophy. Resiliency is its motto.

It’s a philosophy for a team made up of mostly underclassmen, one of the youngest teams in the nation. As the season progressed, it remained relevant.

At times it looked like it would just be a saying. The team had lofty goals: win the conference championship and advance to the NCAA tournament and beyond to Omaha for the championship. The team bought into it early and started the season with their best record since 1983.

Then the Colonials (32-22) dropped their final four conference series of the regular season, but made the Atlantic 10 tournament as the sixth seeded team out of seven. GW lost its first game by three runs, but played on in the double elimination format.

Then they won two games. Then they had a chance to win their third elimination game in a row, up 1-0 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth against Davidson in the elimination semifinal game.

GW had missed opportunities to tack on here and there, but its freshman spot starter Brady Renner had been magnificent. With a runner on and the clean up hitter up to bat, the Long Island kid had already struck out 10. He was up two strikes on the Wildcat, who had struck a hard, looping foul ball in the at bat – showing the slightest sign of struggle.

Then the superhero story of a young team maturing in a conference tournament under the night lights of their home field came to a sudden end. It hung up in the air and it soared out of the ballpark. It, a two-run, go-ahead home run gave the Wildcats the lead for good.

It would end the Colonials’ season in a 2-1 loss Friday night, but resiliency was not lost in GW’s last chance in the ninth inning.

Freshman Brady Renner throws a pitch during GW's loss to Davidson. Renner worked into the eighth inning and exited the game with just two earned runs, but the Wildcats eliminated the Colonials 2-1.  Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Freshman Brady Renner throws a pitch during GW’s loss to Davidson. Renner worked into the eighth inning and exited the game with just two earned runs, but the Wildcats eliminated the Colonials 2-1. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

“They were resilient trying to come back again weren’t they?” head coach Gregg Ritchie said. “Just couldn’t quite get it done. I talked to the team that they were fantastic all year, a lot of growth, a lot of young boys growing into more mature men and playing this game they love as best they can.”

With two outs and two strikes, Kevin Mahala singled. Then Joey Bartosic singled. Then Eli Kashi fell behind two strikes to no balls. He fouled two pitches off in a row to stay alive, as he has done artfully all season long, watched a ball just miss to the chagrin of the Davidson faithful yelling behind him in the stands, checked his swing but held up, saw a breaking ball not bite enough to run the count full, called time in the box a few times in the game of cat-and-mouse within this high-pressure situation – one keen for a slow heartbeat – and then struck out at ball four in the dirt. Game over.

“I was excited. That’s like what you dream about, you know, come through in the ninth,” said the sophomore second baseman Kashi. “But it’s tough, it’s tough, it’s a tough way to lose.”

The final moment was magnified under the microscope of the near-capacity crowd at The Tuck, but GW couldn’t find the big hit despite several chances at the plate.

The Colonials scored their lone run in the third inning. Senior Ryan Xepoleas, a potential spark plug in any game where his bat showed up, led off the inning with a bunt base hit. Sophomore Bobby Campbell, batting in the eight-hole, chopped a ball to a leaping Davidson third baseman on a hit and run. Xepoleas moved to second. A couple batters later sophomore Joey Bartosic singled to shallow right, enough for Xepoleas to score.

For a while, the one run looked good enough. Renner worked a tightrope in the first couple innings, allowing runners into scoring position, but then settled down and had seven strikeouts through four innings. It wasn’t until his 113th pitch that the story changed for the young righty.

“It’s just like the other situations,” Renner said. “It’s a lack of focus, it’s just…I didn’t get the ball down. Mistake made.”

Richie could have brought in in the nation’s saves leader, sophomore Eddie Muhl, but Renner seemed to be rolling. Aside from a couple hard-hit foul balls, there were no signs of trouble and the Colonials were facing the possibility of playing two games Saturday.

The 30 wins will remain a landmark number for the ball club, as will be the team’s progress in the A-10 Championship. The team is still early in its rebuilding process, and the four graduating seniors, outfielder Ryan Xepoleas, lights out reliever Craig LeJeune, catcher and outfielder Xavier Parkmond and first baseman Brookes Townsend, leave with something to hang their hats on.

“You strive to reach your goal everyday,” Ritchie said. “That’s what continues to push you forward in anything you do, whether it’s get a degree, whether it’s get married, whether it’s have children, whether it’s play baseball and get a ring. When you don’t quite achieve what you’re pushing toward there is a disappointment. Like I said, at the same time, how you did and how you went about it, the forward moving progress, there’s a tremendous amount of joy.”

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015 1:03 a.m.

Recap: Baseball stages comeback win at Towson

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.

Midweek games have been tricky for the Colonials. Four of their 12 losses on the season have come courtesy of a Tuesday or Wednesday matchup.

Until the eighth inning Tuesday night at Towson, it seemed GW was bound for another midweek loss. But similar to their win Sunday against Fordham, the Colonials staged a late comeback. They scored six runs in the final two frames to defeat the Tigers 8-4 in their 24th win of the season.

Sophomore Eli Kashi played one of the best games of the day, going 2-3 with two runs scored, two RBI, one walk and one big home run. He led off the third inning with his first career dinger to score the first run of the game.

Kashi began the eighth inning with a seven pitch walk to leadoff the inning. Although the Colonials’ second baseman would be put out at third base, he started the inning with one of a pitcher’s worst fears: a leadoff walk.

GW tied it up in the eighth with the help of pinch-hitter sophomore Colin Gibbons-Fly. He singled in one run – hitting for sophomore Bobby Campbell – and then with runners on the corners, stole second, giving freshman Matt Cosentino the opportunity to steal home for the tie.

In the ninth, Kashi took the first pitch of his at bat and drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single down the left field line. He would then steal second in a double steal while senior Xavier Parkmond headed to third. Later, they both scored insurance runs courtesy of a two RBI single up the middle from sophomore Joey Bartosic.

Bartosic, now batting a team-high .340 with 50 hits, went 3-5, drove in those two runs, scored three of his own and swiped two bags.

But some early pitching woes dug the Colonials’ hole. Freshman Brady Renner got the start, going three innings, giving up one run on three hits with 54 pitches. Sophomore Brandon Ritchie relieved him to start the fourth inning, giving up three runs, two earned, on three hits, one walk and one hit batsman. Freshman Tyler Swiggart came into the fifth inning with runners on first and second, only to balk them both into scoring position.

In the first five innings, just 41 percent of GW’s first pitches were thrown for strikes – 9 of 22.

The final four innings were pitched by juniors Randy Dalrymple and the eventual winner, Luke Olson – neither of whom allowed a run.

The Colonials will continue Atlantic 10 play on the road this weekend at George Mason. Last year, in the Patriots’ first season in the conference, they took two of three in Arlington. Mason would also go onto win the A-10 Championship and play two games in an NCAA Regional. This year they are 5-7 in conference play, looking to make a late move to qualify for the playoffs.

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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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Reliever Kenny O’Brien surrendered a run in his two innings Friday, and the Colonials grabbed a ninth-inning win against Rhode Island. Hatchet File Photo by Cameron Lancaster

This post was written by Hatchet reporters Sean Hurd and Josh Solomon.

There were plenty of bad omens in the Colonials’ elimination game against Rhode Island.

There was the lightning strike near home plate Thursday night, which delayed the game until the next morning while GW was rallying. There was a blown save in the ninth inning Friday from usually reliable Craig LeJeune, putting GW’s surprise season on the ropes.

But in the end, GW caught a break, and sealed a 5-4 walkoff win on light-hitting Xavier Parkmond’s bases-loaded infield single.

Parkmond, who was 0-4 coming into the at bat, got the irregular start at catcher for the elimination game against Rhode Island. He stroked the second pitch of the at bat to the shortstop who could not get a throw off to home in time to cut off the winning run.

It was a strange, seesaw, two-day victory. But it kept the Colonials’ season alive, sending them to a matchup Friday afternoon against top-seeded Saint Louis.

After a thunderstorm delayed the game from Thursday night with the score knotted at 1-1 in the fifth, side-winding senior Kenny O’Brien relieved junior Aaron Weisberg. O’Brien gave up the lead on a deep RBI double down the left field line.

But GW came alive in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and one man on, senior Derek Brown lifted a ball way out to right field that left the ballpark in a hurry, sending GW up 3-2.

Head coach Gregg Ritchie, named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year this week, then called on his closer LeJeune to pitch the two final innings. He breezed through his first inning of work, retiring the batters in order, but then did not have the same luck in the ninth.

A blooper, walk, and a single loaded the bases with no outs, signaling nothing but trouble for the Colonials, who nursed only a one-run lead.

With the infield in, the Rams knocked a ball through the right side to tie up the game. Ritchie then elected to bring in freshman Luke Olsen to get his team out of the jam. Olsen allowed one more ball to squeak through the right side of the infield, yielding one run, but Parkmond blocked the plate successfully as he tagged the second runner out at home.

Now down 4-3, with one out in the bottom of the ninth, senior Matthew Murakami, who has come up in big situations all year long, slapped a ball to the shortstop, forcing him to make a quick play. The fielder threw the ball away, rushing the throw, allowing the speedy Murakami to be safe at first with one out.

Brown, who gave GW the lead just a few innings earlier, came up to bat. In typical Colonial small-ball fashion, Brown surprised the Rams with a bunt attempt instead of swinging for the fences, allowing Murakami to steal second base. Brown would later walk, and a base hit to shallow left field set up the bases loaded and a chance for the Colonials to tie or win the game.

Justin Albright, the team MVP, but off to a slow start this posteason, took four straight balls, working a walk to tie the game.

Rhode Island brought in a new pitcher to face the struggling Parkmond, who had struck out twice in the game already. This time he hit the ball just deep enough and hard enough to the shortstop that he could not field it cleanly enough to make a play at home. With GW’s win, the benches cleared to celebrate with Parkmond at first base.

GW now faces elimination against the top-seeded Billikens at 3:30 p.m. The probable starter for GW is freshman Max Kaplow, who was leading the team on the mound early in the season until he was scratched from a start against Fordham in late April due to an injury. He has yet to pitch in a league game since.


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First baseman Derek Brown forces out a VCU batter last weekend. The Colonials rode a 3-1 win against La Salle Friday to their first postseason appearance since 2006. Cameron Lancaster | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Josh Solomon.

Zero wins. Nine losses. The inaugural season with head coach Gregg Ritchie and the newly renovated Barctoft Park was underway, but looked to be going nowhere quickly. Maybe it would take a few years to build a program that was capable of finding a winning season.

Zero trips. Seven years. GW baseball hasn’t been to the conference playoffs since 2006, and it seemed like seniors such as Tyler McCarthy and Kenny O’Brien would have to wait to come back and watch from the stands to see another GW team make it to the Atlantic 10 tournament.

That all changed after Friday’s 3-1 victory.

O’Brien would come pitch in relief to earn the win on the mound and McCarthy was involved in all three runs as the seniors found a way to finally make it the postseason.

With GW’s (24-30, 14-9) win over La Salle (24-26,15-8), and losses from both Saint Joseph’s and Butler, the Colonials clinched a playoff berth – even moving up into sixth place in the standing – finally making it back to the A-10 tournament.

“[Playoffs] mean everything to us. We very nearly missed it my freshmen year and it’s been a horrible taste in our mouth ever since. Just having something to play for going into your final week that means anything,” McCarthy said in release.

Friday’s game started off with heightened importance following a series opening 10-3 winning against LaSalle on Thursday. In this second game of three against the Explorers, the Colonials knew that a win would almost guarantee them a playoff spot – the only thing they needed to do was play their game and do some scoreboard watching later.

GW grabbed the lead early off the bat of a McCarthy RBI single in the first inning, scoring junior Owen Beightol, who had reached on a hit by a pitch and then stole second base.

The 1-0 lead would hold until the fifth inning, thanks to the support of junior Aaron Weisberg’s pitching. He gave up the Explorers’ lone run off of a one out RBI single to left field.

Weisberg found himself in trouble again in the seventh inning after allowing a leadoff single, a stolen base and then another single. With runners on first and third with one out, Ritchie opted to bring in his side-arming lefty, O’Brien. Weisberg left the game with a stat line of 6 1/3 innings pitched, four hits, one run, three walks and six strikeouts, keeping his team in the game the whole way through.

O’Brien struck out the first batter he faced and the second batter popped out to third base, ending the scare. O’Brien would go on to pitch a scoreless eighth inning, and would eventually earn the win on the day, his fourth of the season.

The bottom of the eighth inning started off with freshman Nolan Lodden reaching on an error, one of two costly errors the Explorers committed despite outhitting the Colonials eight to seven. A sacrifice bunt moved Lodden to second and then a single by McCarthy set up runners on first and third with one out for sophomore Xavier Parkmond to put his team ahead.

“He started me off with two fastballs, one was a strike and one was a ball and I knew he was going to come back with something off speed so I was just sitting on it and, hey, I got a single,” Parkmond said in a release.

Parkmond drove in two runs with his single to left-center, finding the gap and putting the Colonials up for good. All that was needed was the save from their reliable closer Craig LeJeune, who struck out the first two batters of the ninth and then recorded the final out on a grounder to second base.

“I know a lot of them haven’t gone to the tournament or even have a winning season, and to be the guy to provide the winning hit is awesome. They’re great guys and with all the new changes going on, I think we’re headed in a good direction and a good spot for the tournament,” Parkmond said.

The only thing left was to watch the scoreboard and see both Saint Joseph’s and Butler lose to secure the Colonials’ playoff bid as they head into the final game of the regular season – senior day.

“You know having to clinch and being able to enjoy senior day tomorrow, a lot less pressure and go out there and have a good time. It’s something we’ve worked so hard for four years that we are finally being able to experience,” McCarthy said.

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Caption: Senior Ryan Hickey keeps his eye on the ball as he prepares to swing during the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Temple. Samuel Klein | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Brennan Murray.

There were two gone in the top of the ninth when senior closer Craig LeJeune hurled his final pitch towards home plate.

With the tying run on third and the go-ahead on first, a tense GW dugout watched silently as he let it fly, hoping a hard-earned shutout effort against Temple would survive one more desperate Owls swing.

Jammed, the batter tapped a slow roller out in front of LeJeune, who collected it with ease before throwing a bullet to first. Exhales swept through the stadium as the he recorded the final out of the game – and an overall thrilling series.

The out, which preceded a triumphant yet still humble team gathering by the pitcher’s mound, capped GW’s second consecutive conference series win, an impressive feat for a team that didn’t even taste victory until the tenth game of the season.

“If you really believe you can do it, every single game you go out there, no matter what the score is, you can find a way to win the game,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said following the win. “The biggest thing is mentality.”

Though a brief blip against UMBC snapped GW’s four-game win streak Wednesday, the Colonials (10-17, 5-1 A-10) returned to Barcroft Park this weekend as they looked to continue their perfect conference record. After three closely contested bouts, GW emerged with two victories, winning 4-3 in game one and 1-0 in game three, losing by just a two-run margin in the first half of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Forming a huddle in left field following their dramatic game three finish, the Colonials engaged in their customary postgame tradition, yelling “attitude and effort” on a count to three. For Ritchie, their elation on Sunday was simply a byproduct of adhering to that motto.

According to LeJeune though, his team possessed something more than good attitude and strong effort this weekend, something that he said helps better explain how GW has been able to transform into a team that’s now tied for first place in the A-10.

“I think we just have a lot of heart now,” LeJeune said.  “We have the will to win and the heart now, too.”

If the Colonials were playing with more heart this weekend, it certainly spilled onto the diamond Friday afternoon when they erased a three-run deficit to defeat the Owls in walk-off fashion. Freshman Danny O’Donnell pitched a scoreless eighth inning in relief before senior shortstop Matthew Murakami knocked a two-out RBI double to bring GW back within one.

Caption: Freshman Nolan Lodden covers second base as he tries to pick off a Temple baserunner who was leading off in an attempt to steal third. Samuel Klein | Contributing Photo Editor

With the score at 3-2 heading into the ninth, LeJeune pitched a perfect ninth before Colonials hitters took care of the rest in the final half inning. Senior Justin Albright drew a walk to start things off before freshman Tyler Fairbanks pushed him to second with a sacrifice bunt.

Pinch-hitting senior Derek Brown then knocked a single to left, scoring Albright to knot things up at three apiece. With two outs, junior Brookes Townsend stepped to the plate and grounded an infield single. An errant throw by Temple’s third baseman allowed pinch-running sophomore Xavier Parkmond to make it to the plate from second and score the winning run.

“Winning the first game of the series is always the biggest thing you can do,” Ritchie said. “It gives these guys the sense of ‘hey, we’re gonna win the series, let’s go get it.’ And that’s what we did.”

Though it’s easy to point to some clutch hits as the reason for the win, Ritchie praised his bullpen instead. Though relief pitching was one of the weaker points for the Colonials earlier this season, the back end of GW’s bullpen has been stellar of late. LeJeune, who garnered his fourth save on Sunday, echoed Ritchie’s emphasis on the mental aspect of the game when citing reasons for his recent success.

“It’s all about the mindset. I’m just going out there and giving it my all every time,” LeJeune said. “I’m just doing it for my team.”

In game two, the Colonials’ bats fell silent in what ended as a 3-1 loss. Temple’s starting pitcher Eric Peterson struck out nine GW batters in his complete game, one-run effort. The lone run he allowed came off an RBI single from Albright in the bottom of the fifth, one of just six total hits in the contest for the home team.

Though GW put together more patient at bats in the second half of the doubleheader, striking out six fewer times than in the first half, Colonials hitters didn’t plate a runner until Townsend drove a triple to left field in the bottom of the sixth. Junior Owen Beightol scored on the play, providing GW with its one and only run in the contest.

Junior Aaron Weisberg, senior Kenny O’Brien, and LeJeune all did their respective parts to preserve the slim advantage. After Weisberg turned in 6.2 innings of scoreless work, O’Brien finished off the seventh before LeJeune closed the door in the ninth.

It was an exciting finish made even more exciting by a record 300-plus crowd.

“Whether it’s 100 or 900, if those fans are active in the game, the players can feel it. They were feeding off of it all day, which was really nice to see,” Ritchie said.

Perhaps it was the confidence gained after coming back in game one that led the Colonials to their second straight conference series win. Perhaps it was because they played with more heart. But whatever it was that helped the Colonials play solid baseball this weekend, their success has given way to a new mindset in the dugout, one that Ritchie hoped he would eventually see.

“They really believe they can win,” Ritchie said. “That’s the biggest thing in any sport, whether you are playing tic-tac-toe or hangman, or if you’re out here on the baseball field.”

The Colonials are back in action Tuesday, when they square off against regional rival, and soon-to-be A-10 foe, George Mason.

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Then-sophomore Owen Beightol slides safely into third base last season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Joshua Solomon.

The Colonials could blame their 0-5 start on their stagnant offense or surrendering unearned runs, but they continue to point toward mental toughness.

GW visited USC Upstate for a three game series this weekend at the Spartans’ Harley Field. It dropped both games in the doubleheader Saturday, despite a strong effort by the bullpen to keep GW in the game and then fell in a lopsided affair, 9-3 Sunday.

“It’s not failure,” first-year head coach and former GW baseball standout Gregg Ritchie said. “It’s about learning to play the game clean.”

Ritchie said he wants his players to be more passionate their play. He did say a strength so far was very strong pitching. But the offense, he added, is not aggressive enough, taking too many pitches at the plate and not focusing on the planned approach.

The first of two games on Saturday’s wet doubleheader left GW looking back on two innings gone wrong. The Colonials could not come through in the top of the third with runners on first and second with one out. And the bottom of the fourth unravelled with an error by junior right fielder Owen Beightol, the ball just tipping off the heel of his glove and leading to two unearned runs and a 2-0 lead for USC UPstate.

A 1-2-3 top of the fifth sent junior Aaron Weisberg, making his first start of the season, back to the mount quickly. He retired the first two batters but a walk opened the gate for three base hits for three runs. GW could not rally back against the Spartans, losing by a final score of 5-0.

“It was more about the mentality and approach,” Ritchie said about his team’s goals for its series, rather than specifically focusing on hitting or pitching.

Although a more promising and error free game, the second half of Saturday’s doubleheader ended in a 3-1 loss. Junior Luke Staub pitched into the fifth inning, surrendering three earned runs with six walks in the seven-inning affair, shortened for the doubleheader.

The Colonials capitalized on an error in the top half of the second to score their lone run off a single from junior Brookes Townsend. But Upstate came right back in the bottom half with a double to the centerfield wall to tie up the game. In the fourth, a leadoff walk resulted in a two-run inning which capped the scoring for the game.

With a runner on first and the tying run at the plate, sophomore Xavier Parkmond threatened with a rip over the fence that flew just foul but then struck out on the next pitch. GW could not put together two runs and had to walk away with another loss.

“They just have to pull the bootstraps up,” Ritchie said about the losses. He’s looking for a revamped focus from players that “haven’t had a winning mentality for some time, and it has been some time.”

Sunday’s game the Colonials fell the hardest out of the three in a 9-3 loss.

In that contest, it was troubles at the mound that hit GW the hardest, with its relief pitching allowing runs in three straight innings. Freshmen Danny O’Donnell got the start and gave up four earned runs across in three straight innings. Though the team jumped out to a 3-0 lead, it was shortlived, and the Colonials couldn’t muster any offensive gas for the rest of the game.

But the slow start to the season isn’t an excuse for his team to give up, Ritchie said. He’s determined to push his players to rise to the occasion.

“Are you going to meet the challenge and do it? You got to meet it. We plan on meeting [it],” Ritchie said.

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Monday, Feb. 20, 2012 3:48 p.m.

Colonial sports weekend round-up

Senior Amanda Murphy performs on the balance beam during the Lindsey Ferris Invitation Jan. 14. | Hatchet File Photo

A lot of GW teams were in action this weekend. Here’s a look at how they fared:


The Colonials fell to Central Michigan Sunday, dropping the dual meet 193.600-192.075 in GW’s fifth of six straight road competitions.

GW posted a new season high on the floor exercise, earning a combined 48.600, paced by junior Stephanie Stoicovy, who led with Colonials with a 9.800 for fourth place. Senior Amanda Murphy and sophomore Betsy Zander tied for sixth with a score of 9.725.

Stoicovy finished third in the all-around, with 38.500, and sophomore Kiera Kenney led GW on the uneven bars, finishing with a 9.725. Zander tied for third place on the balance beam, scoring a 9.625, and freshman Courtney Willoughby earned third place on the vault with a 9.700.

The Colonials wrap their road stand at EAGL rival North Carolina Feb. 24.


The baseball team opened its season at Stetson this weekend and was swept in three games over three days.

The Colonials had a 2-0 lead at the top of the first Friday but couldn’t hold on for the victory, falling 19-7 to Stetson. Senior Stephen Oswald tripled in fellow senior Ollie Mittag for the first score of the game, followed by a RBI groundout from senior Matt Murakami. But their early runs didn’t stop an explosive Stetson team that scored five in the bottom of the first and six in the bottom of the second to take a commanding lead.

Saturday, junior Brian Derner held Stetson hitless before an unearned run in the third opened the door for Stetson to add five runs in the fourth. The Colonials were able to tally two runs in the top of the ninth but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 7-2 final tally.

GW’s bats heated up a bit Sunday, collecting 14 hits on the day, but still couldn’t overcome Stetson, falling 13-8 in the series finale. Mittag had a game-high three hits, including one RBI, and Murakami, junior Kyle Gelling, sophomore Owen Beightol and freshman Xavier Parkmond all collected two. The Colonials jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first, but Stetson pulled within a run in the second. The teams traded runs over the rest of the game, before a four-run sixth and two-run eighth inning gave the Hatters a solid lead.

The Colonials next head to Petersburg, Va. for a three-game stand against Army next weekend.

Women’s tennis

GW opened A-10 competition this weekend, splitting its action with a loss to Xavier Saturday but a victory over Duquesne Sunday.

The Colonials won two of the three doubles matches to start competition Saturday, with sophomores Leah Pascarella and Isabella Escobar and senior Jacqueline Corba and junior Lorena Valente teaming up for the victories. From there the Muskateers picked up four singles victories for a 4-3 win, despite Colonial singles triumphs from Pascarella and Escobar.

Sunday, GW picked up its first A-10 win of the season. The team once again nabbed the double point off victories from the teams of Escobar and Pascarella and Corba and Valente. Three singles wins, from junior Mimi Hamling, senior Meg Tyner – who is undefeated in singles play on the season – and senior Zoe Krohn cemented GW’s 4-3 victory.

The team next faces James Madison Feb. 25 and Temple Feb. 26.

Women’s lacrosse

After opening their season with a commanding victory over Howard, the Colonials fell at Drexel in their second game of the season, dropping to the Dragons 15-10 Sunday.

Though Drexel took an early 4-2 lead, GW rallied on a 6-1 scoring run to take an 8-5 lead at halftime, including two goals apiece from seniors Sarah Phillips and Megan Seidman. It was the closest the Colonials would come to victory, after the Dragons used an explosive second half to pull away decisively.

Drexel outscored GW 10-2 on the second, including six straight goals to open the half. Phillips picked up her third goal of the game, for her second straight hat trick, and junior Nicole Lacey added a goal for the Colonials’ only two scores on the half. Lacey also matched her own program single-game record with 10 draw controls on the afternoon.

GW next hosts Long Island at 1 p.m. Feb. 25.

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