Colonials sweep series with Dayton

After the GW baseball team equaled its win total from 1996-’97 last week, the team made another statement this weekend.

The Colonials completed a three-game sweep of Dayton at Barcroft Park Sunday afternoon to take sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 Conference’s West Division.

“This is a huge weekend for us,” head coach Tom Walter said. “I feel like our hitters did a great job this weekend of putting up runs and keeping us in all three games.” GW scored 23 runs in the three-game set.

GW, tied for the division lead with Dayton (14-8, 4-5 A-10) before the series, improved to 24-12 overall and 7-2 in the conference with the sweep.

“I think it was really a moral victory for us to be able to sweep a pretty good team like Dayton,” junior Joe Beichert said.

The Colonials play the University of Maryland-Baltimore County at home Wednesday and at Howard University Thursday before a weekend series at La Salle.

GW 9, Dayton 4Junior Tom Baginski pitched a complete game against the Flyers, as the Colonials completed their first three-game sweep of the season Sunday in the second game of a doubleheader.

The lefthander, who was coming off a shutout of Duquesne last weekend, struck out 17 batters and allowed just two walks and seven hits in his nine innings of work.

“I’ve settled down a lot,” Baginski said. “Early on this season, my location wasn’t very good but now I am locating my fastball well. My changeup is my out pitch right now and I feel like I can get anyone out with that.”

After jumping to a 3-1 lead in the third inning, Baginski (4-3) gave up a two-run home run to junior Jason Siegfried in the top of the fourth that allowed Dayton to tie the game. GW fell behind in the fifth when Dayton second basemen Matt Shipley hit his second consecutive solo home run to give the Flyers a 4-3 lead.

“I think I probably made about three mistakes, and they hit all three of them out,” said Baginski, who gave up all four runs in the game on home runs.

GW answered immediately in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Dayton starter Jason McFarland hit Cassedy Smith with a pitch. Junior Chris Matarese then came to the plate and hit his seventh home run of the season to give the Colonials a 5-4 lead.

“The hitters really came through and picked me up,” Baginski said. “They came right back and answered every time I gave something up.”

Freshman Eric Mitchell, who went 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs, extended GW’s lead with a solo shot in the sixth.

GW also got three insurance runs in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Adam Belicic, an RBI-double by junior Mike Roberts (3-for-4) and an RBI-single by junior Rob Ingwer, as Baginski coasted through the final four innings without giving up a run.

GW 8, Dayton 7Joe Beichert powered the Colonials to a win over Dayton with his 13th and 14th home runs of the season in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday.

GW jumped out to an early lead behind the hot bat of Beichert. Ryan Dacey was hit by a pitch with two outs in the first inning before Beichert hit his first home run of the game. Cassedy Smith followed Beichert’s home run with one of his own to give GW a 3-0 lead.

“I am seeing the ball a lot better this year,” said Beichert, who was hitting .398 coming into the weekend series. “And I have good hitters around me, like Ryan Dacey and Cassedy Smith, so I’m seeing a lot of good pitches, and that helps a lot.”

GW scored three more runs on five hits in the second inning to push its lead to 6-0.

Dayton stormed back, though, with four runs in the third inning and one in the fifth to cut GW’s lead to 6-5.

Beichert stopped the Dayton rally with another two-run shot in the fifth inning, his team-leading 14th home run of the season, to give GW an 8-5 lead.

“Every time they started to mount a rally, Joe Beichert came up and got a big hit for us,” Walter said. “College baseball is really a game of momentum, so it’s big when the other team scores and you can turn around and score on them.” A two-run home run by Dayton’s Ryan Fleming in the sixth inning narrowed GW’s lead to 8-7, but the Flyers never came back to take the lead.

Freshman righthander Bryan Beggs (1-2) earned the win in relief of Ari Zagaris. Beggs recorded seven strikeouts and gave up three runs in four and one-third innings of work.

GW 6, Dayton 5GW scored three runs in the final inning Saturday to come from behind and beat Dayton 6-5 in the first game of the three-game series at Barcroft Park.

“The key to the series was definitely the come back win Saturday,” Walter said. “That showed Dayton that we came into this weekend to play.”

The Colonials trailed 5-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but plated three runs off Flyer pitchers Ryan VonSossan and Brian Heitkamp to win the game. VonSossan (4-1), who took the loss, allowed both batters he faced in the seventh to reach base before being relieved.

Freshman Adam Belicic (6-1) continued to pitch well. He worked all seven innings for GW and got his team-leading sixth victory of the season. Belicic allowed five runs on 10 hits and struck out four batters.

Third baseman Robert Ingwer went 2-for-4, drove in two runs and scored another. Dayton designated hitter Brooks Vogel hit two solo home runs.-Dave Mann contributed to this report.

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