Seven different Colonial pitchers held local rival James Madison University scoreless for eight innings en route to a 10-1 victory in Newport News, Va. Tuesday. The dominant win was a confidence booster for the GW baseball team, which heads to No. 1 (Baseball America) Georgia Tech this weekend.
“JMU is a perennial top 30 team that has played well against us, so to go and face one of their top pitchers and get a win was good for us,” GW head coach Tom Walter said. “You always want to go into a big weekend on a winning note, so obviously we’re gonna have our hands full this weekend but I think we will play well.”
Junior Dan Sullivan started on the mound for GW, pitching three innings of shutout ball while giving up just four hits. Sullivan (2-0) has pitched eight scoreless innings on the season, holding his ERA at a perfect 0.00.
GW (4-1) thew six more pitchers at the Dukes after Sullivan left the game. Freshman Paul Garner pitched a scoreless fourth inning and sophomore Avi Rasowsky (1-0) pitched a scoreless fifth inning for the win.
Freshman Josh Wilkie struck out four batters in his two-plus innings of work and has now recorded over seven-straight scoreless innings. Sophomore Nick Koken allowed JMU’s only run in the ninth inning.
JMU’s starter, Kurt Isenberg (0-1), was knocked out of the game as the Dukes (0-5) threw three pitchers at GW in a five-run seventh inning. The Colonials scored five unearned runs, doubling their score and essentially sealing the game, putting them up 10-1.
The Colonials had jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after junior first baseman Jeff Fertitta put the Colonials on the board in the first with his two-run double that drove home Anthony Raglani and Tony Dokoupil. Freshman Geoff Milsom gave GW the 3-0 advantage in the fifth with his solo homerun, his first of the season. The two infielders combined for four hits and five RBIs on the day.
Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Tom Shanley added two more runs in the sixth with a two-out single. The rookie short stop went 1-for-4 on the day with two RBIs.
“Shanley been clutch for us all year,” Walter said. “All the freshmen are responding well and we’re counting on them to do so.”
The Dukes made a small rally in the ninth as senior Brent Metheny got a two-out RBI double, accounting for JMU’s only run of the game.
The Colonials will travel to Atlanta, Ga. in what will be their toughest contest of the season against Georgia Tech (6-0) Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In preparation for the weekend series, the Yellow Jackets will play an exhibition against the Atlanta Braves Thursday.
Nate CasaGrande, Greg Conden and Dan Sullivan will start Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, on the mound for GW and Walter said pitching will be a key factor in the series.
“We have to pitch well,” he said. “Their pitching staff is probably the best in the country so we can’t expect to score 10 runs. We have to hold them to three or four and hope we score five or six.”
-Lauren Silva contributed to this report.