The GW baseball team returned to Atlantic 10 play last weekend searching for just its second conference win, a seemingly easy task for a team that had not been swept in an A-10 series in four years.
But as the bad weather that kept the Colonials off the field for much of the last three weeks ended, so did that streak. Xavier won all three games against GW in Cincinnati, Ohio Saturday and Sunday.
The sweep was the first GW had suffered since losing three games at Georgia Tech in late February and the first in A-10 play since Duquesne took all three games from the Colonials in 1999. The Colonials (19-11, 1-5 A-10) have now lost four in a row, starting with a 10-9 loss to George Mason Thursday.
“We’re still shaking a little bit of the dust off,” junior captain Tony Dokoupil said. “It’s frustrating. There’s been a tough stretch of weather and we haven’t been able to put it all together. Against George Mason we hit well, but we gave up 10 runs.”
Dokoupil’s teammates agreed having so many games postponed or canceled due to inclement weather in the last three weeks has affected the team’s play.
“When you travel a lot and it gets rained out it’s frustrating,” senior captain Chris Barry said. “It’s a mental thing. You go to the field, sit there, you think you’re going to play and you wait a half-hour or more. It’s just tough.”
With home conference series against Duquesne and La Salle coming up in the next two weeks, though, Dokoupil said he is confident the Colonials will get back on track.
“We have two pretty easy conference weekends coming up,” he said. “We should be fine.”
GW’s next game is at Maryland-Baltimore County Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Xavier 11, GW 5
Sunday, April 13
The Musketeers jumped out of the gates early Sunday, scoring a run in the first, second and third innings to go up 3-0.
The Colonials fought back to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth on a three-run homer by senior Travis Crowder and RBI double from sophomore Joe Michalski. But Xavier tied the game at four runs apiece in the bottom of the frame and poured on seven more runs in the late innings.
Xavier’s Jarrett Sues improved to 3-4 on the season, striking out seven Colonials in a complete-game victory.
Xavier 4, GW 2 (game one)
Xavier 7, GW 0 (game two)
Saturday, April 12
Despite senior right-hander Greg Conden’s strong performance in Saturday’s first game, the Colonials could not hold on to a late lead and lost 4-2. Conden (4-2) allowed four runs on nine hits in the loss.
Xavier starter Adam Jahnsen was also tough on opposing batters, allowing only two runs on two hits in six and two-thirds innings. “Conden threw well enough for us to win the game,” Dokoupil said. “We just couldn’t put together any offense for him.”
The Colonials generated their only offense on a two-run homer from freshman Matt Owens in the second inning. The blast was Owens’ first of his collegiate career.
GW took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth until the Xavier bats woke up and scored three runs on four singles for the 4-2 victory.
Xavier didn’t make it any easier in the second game of the day, shutting out the Colonials 7-0. The Colonials tallied nine hits but could not generate a consistent offensive attack to put any runs on the board. The game marked the first time the Colonials have been shut out since Xavier defeated them 4-0 in May 2002.
“There are no excuses,” senior captain Chris Barry said. “It was just one of those days where nothing clicked.”
The Colonials fell behind early and could not recover, as the Musketeers scored six runs off GW starter Josh Wilkie (3-1) in the first inning. Without any run support, Wilkie eventually settled down, allowing only one more run during his five innings of work.
George Mason 10, GW 9
Thursday, April 10
GW’s late-inning comeback bid came up short Thursday afternoon at George Mason’s Raymond H. Spuhler Field, where the Colonials lost 10-9.
In a game delayed from Tuesday because of rain and switched to George Mason from GW’s Barcroft Park due to poor field conditions, GW scored three runs in the ninth but fell one short to end its three-game win streak. Starting pitcher Nate CasaGrande (3-2) took the loss for the Colonials.