Bassett’s pair of homers lift GW over Bison

The GW baseball team capped a four-game winning streak Wednesday with a 17-6 win against Howard at Barcroft Park. The win showcased a streak of strong hitting that began with a win over Massachusetts last Friday and continued in Tuesday’s 6-5 win over Delaware.

Led on Wednesday by rightfielder Mike Bassett’s two home runs, including a first-inning grand slam, the Colonials (16-12) rocked the Bison for 18 hits and 5 home runs, scoring 13 or more runs for the third time in four games.

After losing four of six during a two-week hitting slump, GW busted out for a 13-6 win in the second game of a double-header at Massachusetts last Friday. The win ended a six-game scoring drought, and marked the beginning of a streak that has included 45 runs in four games.

“When we’re hitting the ball well, we’re pretty tough to beat,” GW head coach Tom Walter said. “Good hitting is always contagious, and I think when we get on the board early we relax a little more and play better.”

Nine runs in the first two innings gave the Colonials a decisive early lead. After Bassett’s slam, an RBI single by first baseman William Powell gave the Colonials a 5-2 lead after the first inning. In the second inning, third baseman Ryan Roberson hit a two-run shot over the left field fence. Infielder Nick Koken then followed with an RBI double, and an RBI sacrifice fly by Powell put GW ahead 9-3 after two innings of play.

Starting pitcher Glen Skutnik (1-1) continued to struggle. He allowed six earned runs on seven hits in five innings, but the run support from GW’s hitters was too much for Howard to compete with.

Skutnik’s 7.85 ERA heading into the game ranked second worst among GW pitchers who have thrown more than one inning, but GW kept Howard from capitalizing on his shaky performance by answering every Bison run.

In Tuesday’s win against Delaware, the Colonials, who host Fordham this weekend, used patience rather than power to notch a 6-5 victory. GW drew five walks and struck out only three times.

After a five-run second inning by Delaware that knocked starting pitcher Dan Sullivan out of the game, the Colonials remained patient at the plate and gradually regained the lead by the seventh inning when a Chris Barry RBI single gave his team the lead for good.

Walter said he had emphasized patience to his hitters in practice. “We had been talking a lot about pitch selection,” he said. “And we did a good job of that Tuesday.”

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