Baseball team wins four of five

Wins continued to pile up for the GW baseball team this week.

The Colonials won two out of three games against Rhode Island last weekend, and then posted comeback wins over James Madison and Howard universities Tuesday and Wednesday. GW has won three games in a row and 13 of its last 15. The Colonials (17-10, 2-1 Atlantic 10) are off to their best start since 1986.

“We’re doing a lot of the little things well,” GW Coach Tom Walter said. “Our pitching has been good all year, but we’re playing better defense and getting timely hitting.”

The Colonials play William & Mary Thursday at 3 p.m. at Barcroft Park.

“We’ve always thought we had the talent, it was just a matter of us coming together as a team,” Walter said. “The guys are having a lot more fun. They want to come to the park. They want to win.”

Walter said several players have improved this season, making up for the loss of the team’s best hitter, Troy Allen, and best pitcher, Matt Williams, from last season.

“Whenever you loose players you count on other guys stepping up,” he said.

GW 10, Howard 7Junior rightfielder Chris Matarese’s two-run double capped a five-run seventh inning Wednesday, as GW came from behind to win for the second time in as many days.

The 10-7 win over Howard University at Barcroft Park was the Colonials’ 17th of the season.

GW came to bat in the bottom of the seventh, trailing 7-4. The Colonials plated two runs, before Matarese’s double scored senior Cassedy Smith and freshman Dan Rouhier to give GW a 9-7 lead. GW added another run in the eighth.

GW came back from three runs behind in Tuesday’s win over James Madison.

“They’re playing with a lot more confidence than any other team I’ve been associated with at GW,” Walter said. “We know that if we’re a couple of runs down that we can get a couple of hits and get back in it. (Winning) is a snowball effect, but losing is to and we’re glad to be on the other side.”

Rollie Corden (3-0) got the win for GW. He entered the game in the seventh inning and pitched an inning and a third. Ari Zagaris retired Howard in order in the ninth inning to record his third save of the year.

GW took an early 2-0 lead, before Howard got three runs off Colonials’ starter Clint Sells in the third inning. The Bison scored three more runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-3 lead and force Sells out of the game. Sells worked four and a third innings, surrendering six runs on seven hits.

Rouhier led the Colonials offensively, going three-for-four, scoring two runs and three runs batted in. Second baseman Mike Roberts had two hits and scored three runs.

Howard starter Hasani Widemond pitched six and a third innings, giving up nine runs, seven earned, on 10 hits. Widemond did not get a lot of defensive help, as the Bison committed six errors.

GW 5, JMU 4Freshman pinch-hitter Dan Rouhier’s infield RBI single in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Colonials to a 5-4 come from behind win over James Madison at Barcroft Park Tuesday.

Rouhier’s game-winning hit capped a three-run ninth inning rally. GW trailed 4-2 going into its final at-bat, but designated hitter Cassedy Smith opened the inning by drawing a walk, and junior rightfielder Chris Matarese followed with a single. One batter later, third baseman Ted Currle singled to load the bases.

Junior Mike Roberts then hit a ground ball down the third baseline. The Dukes misplayed the grounder into a two-base error, allowing two runs to score and tying the game 4-4. Rouhier then hit a ground ball that James Madison’s drawn-in infield could not handle, scoring Currle from third base to give Ron Christie (1-3), who pitched the top of the ninth inning, his first win of the season.

The Dukes broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the fifth inning, and extended their lead to 4-2 by scoring a run in the top of the ninth, before GW came back.

Currle had three hits for the Colonials, and junior Joe Beichert and Roberts each had one RBI for the Colonials. GW starter Bryan Beggs worked four and a third innings, allowing three runs on four hits.

GW 7, Rhode Island 2Junior righthander Ari Zagaris struck out eight batters, throwing his first career complete game in leading GW to a 7-2 win over Rhode Island at Barcroft Park Sunday.

The win was the Colonials’ second in their three-game series with the Rams. Zagaris (3-1) gave up only two runs on nine hits, while walking only one batter.

Freshman Eric Mitchell provided the offense, breaking a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning with a three-run home run. Mitchell’s first-career homer gave GW a 4-1 lead. The Colonials then plated three more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Adam Belicic had two hits and two RBIs for GW.

Rhode Island 5, GW 0Two Rhode Island pitchers combined to hold GW to just two hits, as the Rams shut out the Colonials 5-0 in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday at Barcroft Park.

Rhode Island starter Sean Carroll pitched five innings, allowed two hits and worked around six walks. Jason Cooke then entered the game and shut down GW over the final two innings to snap the Colonials five-game winning streak.

GW lost despite a solid pitching performance by starter Tom Baginski. The junior lefthander pitched all seven innings, allowed five runs on seven hits and struck out eight.

The Rams jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, before Baginski (2-3) settled down. Kevin Lanzilli drove in two runs for Rhode Island.

GW 1, Rhode Island 0Freshman Adam Belicic won a pitchers’ dual with Rhode Island’s Jay Krystofolski in a 1-0 GW win in the first game of a doubleheader at Barcroft Park Saturday.

In the Colonials’ A-10 opener, Belicic (4-1) pitched a six-hit shut out, struck out four batters and walked four in his seven innings.

Junior second baseman Mike Roberts provided all the offense the Colonials would need with a RBI single in the fifth inning. Krystofolski worked six innings, struck out nine GW batters and walked only one. The teams combined for only 10 hits.

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