Colonials move ahead of Spiders

The GW baseball team took two of three games from Atlantic-10 West rival Richmond at Barcroft Park this past weekend after falling to Georgetown Thursday. With the series win, GW moved ahead of Richmond for first place in the division.

“We are pretty confident that we are the best team in the A-10, from pitching to hitting,” sophomore Tom Shanley said. “To come out and put it on them in the first game and second game, I think we really took the wind out of them. Today we caught a tough break, but I think it was a big momentum boost for us. I don’t think that Richmond thinks they can play with us.”

GW (24-14, 9-3 A-10) swept Saturday’s doubleheader but came up short from the series sweep over Richmond (18-14, A-10), losing 7-6 in 10 innings Sunday.

With the score tied at five heading into the ninth inning, the Spiders scored one run to take a 6-5 lead. But two Richmond errors allowed the Colonials to tie the game, as freshman Anthony Smith reached base on a fielding error to lead off the inning and then scored later on a throwing error.

With freshman Derek Lutz pitching his second inning of the game, Richmond’s David Thomas led off extra innings with a single to left field. He then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Junior Anthony Raglani, who hit his ninth home run of the season earlier in the game, led off the Colonials’ half of the 10th with a walk. But the Colonials could not rally, as three batters struck out to end the game.

Earlier in the game, the Colonials built a four-run lead over the first four innings, but the GW bullpen could not hold on.

In Saturday’s second game, GW sophomore Josh Wilkie and Richmond junior Thomas Martin engaged in a classic pitchers’ duel. Both starters allowed no runs through seven innings, and each team’s bullpen kept the game scoreless until the 10th inning, when Richmond scored a pair of runs. But GW answered in dramatic fashion.

The Colonials got two straight singles and sophomore Matt Owens walked to load the bases. Shanley followed by working the count in his favor and took a 2-0 pitch over the 347 mark in left center field for a game-winning grand slam. It was Shanley’s third home run of the season, while freshman reliever Derek Lutz picked up his third win of the year.

“Individually, it was one of the best baseball moments of my life,” Shanley said. “I had never done that before. It was pretty exhilarating.”

The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader was the third annual Jackie Robinson Commemorative Game. Pre-game events began with GW head coach Tom Walter awarding freshman Michael Parker the Jackie Robinson Award for his perseverance and hustle this year. The first pitches were thrown out by the co-captains of the GW softball team, sophomore Elana Meyers and freshman Gabby Culp.

“It was really great and a real honor,” Parker said of his award.

In the game, the Colonials overpowered the Spiders both at the plate and on the mound. Junior Dan Sullivan pitched a complete game five-hitter and allowed just one run, and the offense gave him plenty of support in an 8-1 victory.

Raglani went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Owens reached three times from the lead-off spot and scored twice. Junior Ryan Roberson also drove in two runs, going 1-for-3.

The Colonials traveled to Cabin John, Md., last Thursday to face Georgetown (20-20) and fell to the Hoyas 5-4.

Junior Nick Koken, converted from a closer to starter, struggled on the day, allowing five runs over the first four innings.

GW got one run in the seventh and three in the ninth on a homer from junior Brad Rosenblatt, but with a man on second and one out, the Colonials could not bring across the tying run.

The Colonials’ next game is Tuesday at Delaware State University (18-19) in a 3 p.m. start.

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