Baseball pitches shutout

Dan Rouhier’s three-run homerun in the bottom of the third inning sparked a big-scoring run as the GW baseball team defeated Mount St. Mary’s 8-0 at Barcroft Park Wednesday. That homerun sparked a four-inning scoring streak with runs in the third and sixth innings. The Colonials (31-17, 12-7 Atlantic 10) will need this momentum as they take on Massachusetts in a three-game conference series at Barcroft Park next weekend.

“(The win) helped us know we can play some fundamental baseball,” said Bryan Beggs, who pitched one inning against the Mountaineers. “If we can do that against UMass, we’ll have no problem winning.”

The three-game home series against Massachusetts (8-5, A-10) is the Colonials’ final conference series before the A-10 Championships in Orlando, Fla., May 17. These final conference games could determine GW’s seed for the tournament.

GW is on pace to qualify for the tournament, which takes only the top four teams in the conference. Temple has a solid hold on first, but all other slots are up for grabs. GW could lose its second-place standing with two losses to Massachusetts this weekend.

“We feel confident,” Beggs said. “We know we need to win at least two games to get down to the tournament for sure. We’re all fired up and motivated to play.”

Beggs has said the team is not thinking about the tournament. The Colonials are concentrating on next weekend’s games against because UMass is likely tournament match-up.

The top four teams in the conference will play each other next weekend, as Dayton plays a three-game series at Temple. If GW wins all three games against UMass, the Colonials will remain in second place. If GW loses all three games to UMass and Dayton wins at least two from Temple, Dayton would remove GW from second place.

On Wednesday the Colonials’ 8-0 shutout over Mount St. Mary’s (12-35) began with a three-run third inning. Nick Iovacchini reached base on an error, and Tony Dokoupil singled to put runners on first and second. Rouhier stepped up two batters later and cleared the bases with a shot to right center, putting GW ahead 3-0.

“Rouhier is very important,” Beggs said. “He hits cleanup. So there are usually men on base. We want him to drive in runs to get leads.”

GW added two more runs in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth inning, Brown advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. Dokoupil knocked in Brown on a sacrifice fly to right field, lifting GW 4-0. In the fifth inning Rouhier advanced to third on a pitching error. Josh Courage singled, knocking in Rouhier and lifting GW 5-0.

The Colonials added three more runs in the sixth inning. Crowder singled to right field and stole second base. After Dokoupil walked, GW pulled a double-steal sending Dokoupil to second and Crowder to third with no outs. Chris Barry walked to load the bases before Crowder scored on a Rouhier sacrifice fly. Bassett then doubled, knocking in Crowder and Dokoupil. GW went ahead 8-0.

GW starter Ron Christie improved to 6-1 on his six-inning outing. He pitched scoreless ball, allowing five hits, while striking out three Mountaineers. The outing lowered his ERA to 4.62. Glen Skutnik, Chris Worth and Beggs all pitched one inning of relief to complete the shutout. They allowed one hit apiece. Worth and Beggs each recorded two strikeouts.

On Thursday GW will travel to Howard for a 3 p.m. non-conference game.

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