Colonials split with nationally ranked Spiders

Head Coach Tom Walter said if anything, Sunday’s rainout of the GW – Richmond contest will give closer Mike O’Connor some extra rest.

Other than that, Walter said playing Monday instead of Sunday is neither good nor bad for his team, which will compete for first place in the Atlantic 10 West with the nationally ranked Spiders Monday.

Ace Greg Conden will pitch the game that decides the series between GW and the No. 24 Spiders, which split a doubleheader Saturday.

“(He’s) the guy we want on the mound,” Walter said of the 8-2 junior, who could become GW’s all-time winningest pitcher with more wins.

The Colonials will enter the game after already notching a key 4-2 win against possibly the best pitching in the A-10. GW defeated Richmond’s Tim Stauffer (11-2), an invitee to the national team, and knocked him around for four runs on nine hits. Stauffer pitched a complete game and struck out 10 of the 40 batters. The pitcher, who picked up just his second loss of the season, kept the Colonials scoreless until the seventh inning when Tony Brown singled to right, knocking in Anthony Raglani, who had doubled to center.

Tied 1-1 heading into the ninth, Spider Adam Tidball’s sacrifice fly off O’Connor scored Bryan Pritz. The Colonials escaped the inning without any further damage.

GW’s Chris Barry erased Richmond’s 2-1 lead with a solo blast over the rightfield wall in the bottom of the ninth.

O’Connor, who kept the Spiders hitless in two innings of relief, struck out Chris Dolan, got Michael Galligan to fly out and forced John Cronin to ground out to end the 10th.

Travis Crowder began GW’s 10th inning with a walk but was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice bunt by Jake Wald. Tied 2-2 with two outs, senior Mike Bassett knocked out a two-run homerun to center that gave GW a 4-2 win.

Game two, a Richmond 7-5 win, did not offer the pitching duel of game one. Walter faulted his team’s offense for failing to stymie Richmond’s pitching. GW scored a quick run in the first but had trouble producing down the stretch, with power hitters Bassett and Fertitta going 0-for-3 and lead-off man Jake Wald going 0-for-4.

The Spiders’ four-run fourth inning gave them a 6-3 lead and put them ahead for good. Justin Orenduff allowed a run off Richmond’s Galligan, then three more off RBI singles from Josh Cronin, Bryan Pritz and David Reaver.

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