The GW baseball team continued its battle for first place in the Atlantic 10 West this weekend by taking two of three games from Xavier at Barcroft Park.
GW (31-19, 12-5 A-10) split Friday’s doubleheader and won game three on Saturday. The Colonials’ offense was the story again, first with senior Ryan Dacey breaking GW’s all-time hit record.
In the sixth inning of game one, Dacey pushed an RBI-single into centerfield for his 205th career hit. He would collect three more hits in the series. Many of GW’s 37 hits over the weekend came from senior Matt Walker and sophomore Matt Krimmel. Walker raised his batting average to .417 with nine hits, including two homeruns (8,9).
Krimmel batted .500 in the series with five hits, including a double. Junior ace Adam Belicic (8-4) pitched six innings for the win in game one, and sophomore Chris Worth evened his record (6-6) with a win in game three. Both pitchers were supported with 11 runs. But game-two starter freshman Gregg Conden (7-1) had little support from his offense and lost the first game of his college career despite pitching a complete game.
The Colonials constantly left runners stranded, adding to the offensive frustration.
We had runners on second and third (base), but we just couldn’t score, Coach Tom Walter said after the loss.
The Colonials continue play at George Mason Tuesday at 3 p.m. With five games to play, they are now within striking distance of the school record for wins in the spring season. The 1998 squad went 33-18. The 1979 team went 35-16 over the fall and spring.
GW 11, Xavier 5Saturday, April 29th
The Colonials followed a sluggish game two Friday against Xavier by scoring the first 11 runs in Saturday’s game three as GW won the rubber game 11-5. They scored at least two runs in four straight innings.
The Colonials played patiently in the second inning. With junior Dan Rouhier on second after a centerfield double, freshman Jake Wald singled to right and Rouhier scored. Tony Dokoupil, Eric Mitchell and Dacey also singled in the inning contributing to GW’s three-run inning.
The hits kept coming when Walker and Mike Bassett singled to open the bottom half of the third. Except this time, Rouhier homered to left center to drive the runs in.
It was that kind of day for the Colonials. The offense was efficient, but so was the pitching. Worth pitched six innings and cruised past Xavier after surviving a first-inning jam.
Ahead 11 runs, Worth was replaced by Chad Dewey in the seventh inning. Dewey struggled with control early, walking Xavier’s Aaron Hall and Jared Hendel to lead off the inning. Both runners would later score, putting the Musketeers on the board. Glen Skutnik and Bryan Beggs came in to pitch in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close out the game.
Xavier 4, GW 1GW 11, Xavier 4Friday, April 28th
Freshman Gregg Conden breezed through his first three innings despite a first-inning double and appeared to be in command for his eighth-straight victory. But when the game ended, GW and Conden found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-1 final score.
Conden went the distance in the loss, giving up 10 hits. His counterpart, Xavier’s Matt Raih, also pitched a complete game, scattering eight hits in the victory.
Conden had only given up two hits as the game entered the fourth inning. To begin the inning with the game still scoreless, Conden pitched into trouble. With two out and the bases loaded, Xavier’s centerfielder, Aaron Hall, was at bat. Conden focused only on Hall and struck him out to end the inning.
The Colonials, who usually produce offensively for Conden, managed only two extra base hits in the game.
GW’s run gave the Colonials a temporary 1-0 lead when Bassett scored on an error by Xavier’s shortstop, Jeff Crandell. But that was the last of GW’s runs. The Colonials finished the game leaving 10 runners on base.
Conden only allowed two walks, but a lead-off walk to Xavier’s Jarret Sues in the fifth inning proved costly when with one out, designated hitter Ryan Schreen homered to give Xavier the lead. Conden later issued a one-out walk in the seventh inning and gave up a double and a single with two outs as Xavier scored two big insurance runs in the final inning.
The two walks hurt him, Walter said of Conden. This was his first close game. He threw well, good enough to win. He just didn’t win.
Krimmel walked and Walker singled with two outs in the seventh inning, but Bassett grounded out to end the game.
In the first game, facing Xavier’s Greg Wiggers, one of the A-10’s best pitchers according to Walter, the Colonials jumped out to an early 5-1 lead and went on to rout the Musketeers 11-4.
Lead-off man Travis Crowder was hit by a Wiggers pitch to begin the bottom of the first. Crowder advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Krimmel single. The RBI was one of four on the day for Krimmel. Walker doubled to centerfield and both he and Krimmel would later score in GW’s three-run inning.
Krimmel and Walker combined for four runs, five hits and six RBIs in the game.
Belicic pitched into the seventh inning, giving up four runs on six hits. The junior struck out seven. Beggs relieved Belicic – whose pitch count was over 110 according to Walter – with the bases loaded and nobody out in the inning and managed to retire the final three batters.