After completing a three-game sweep of La Salle Monday, the GW baseball team split two non-conference games this week and is preparing for an important weekend series with Xavier.
GW (29-14) could ensure itself a spot in the Atlantic 10 Championship with two wins against Xavier at Barcroft Park. GW Coach Tom Walter said the Colonials are capable of beating the Musketeers, one of the top teams in the A-10.
“We’ve been playing pretty well and are anxious to get into the conference tournament,” he said. “We beat them two out of three games at their place last year, so there is no reason we can’t do as well at our place this year.
“You want to earn your way into the conference tournament. You don’t want to depend on someone else winning to get you in.”
Freshman catcher Eric Mitchell and freshman centerfielder Tony Brown have overcome some early season struggles and had several key hits last week.
Brown’s average was below .200 early in the season, but he broke out against La Salle, driving in five runs in Saturday’s 15-3 win.
“Their stats may not reflect it, but both those guys have been playing really well,” Walter said. “(Brown) has the ability and he’s been making strides everyday. He just needs to see more college pitching.”
Contributions from freshmen have been a key to the GW’s turnaround from last year’s 21-33 season. In addition to Brown and Mitchell, Adam Belicic has swung the bat well and has consistently turned in solid performances on the mound. Belicic leads the team with six wins and has a 2.83 earned run average.
GW opens its three-game set against Xavier with a doubleheader Saturday at noon. Walter said GW’s starters will be junior righthander Ari Zagaris, Belicic and junior lefthander Tom Baginski.
GW 13, Coppin State 1Freshman catcher Nate Nanzer drove in three runs as GW scored five first-inning runs and coasted to an easy victory at struggling Coppin State University Wednesday.
Nanzer, playing in place of starter Eric Mitchell, had two hits, including a double, and Adam Belicic had two doubles and scored three runs to help starter Clint Sells (2-1) get the win.
Sells pitched six innings, allowed four hits and surrendered Coppin State’s only run on a solo home run by third baseman Chris Kovacs in the sixth inning.
Coppin State starter Sean Richardson pitched the entire game and gave up 14 hits in falling to 0-12 on the season. Coppin State is 1-38 this year.
Richmond 11, GW 7GW starter Ron Christie gave up six runs and the Colonials’ comeback fell short in an 11-7 loss at Richmond Tuesday.
Christie lasted four and two-thirds innings and allowed eight hits and six earned runs as the Spiders (30-14-1) took a 6-3 lead. Richmond scored four more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 10-3 lead.
GW plated three runs in the eighth inning and another in the ninth, but Spider pitcher Greg Yaffa ended the comeback by retiring the Colonials in the ninth inning. Belicic had two hits, scored a run and had two RBIs for GW, while Brown had three hits and an RBI.
GW 8, La Salle 3Tom Baginski pitched a complete game as the Colonials erupted for six runs in the ninth inning and completed a three-game sweep of the Explorers in Philadelphia, Pa. Monday.
The third game of the series was originally scheduled to be played Sunday, but was postponed a day because of rain.
La Salle (9-23) led 3-2 after eight innings, but GW scored six runs in the ninth inning off three La Salle pitchers. Senior Cassedy Smith hit a two-run home run for GW, and Ryan Dacey had two hits, including a home run.
Baginski (5-3) allowed only two earned runs in his nine innings. He gave up eight hits and struck out 10 batters.