The GW baseball team has developed a heated rivalry with Richmond over the past few seasons. This year, the Colonials now have the early upper hand.
Despite falling to the Spiders 10-9 on Sunday, GW won the both ends of a doubleheader Saturday, winning the series 2-1.
“It’s a huge rivalry for us so it’s big that we came up with a series victory,” red-shirt freshman Josh Goldberg said.
The Colonials (21-12, 5-4 Atlantic 10) and Spiders (15-21, 8-7 A-10) have been two of the best teams in the league in recent years. Last season Richmond defeated GW in the A-10 Tournament, 3-0.
Junior starter Josh Wilkie struggled Sunday, pitching four and one-thirds innings and allowing six earned runs. With the Colonials up 4-3, Richmond scored five runs in the fifth inning. Then, freshman Joel Brookens entered the game and allowed two runs.
Trailing 9-3, GW scored three runs in the seventh to cut the deficit in half. After reliever Nate CasaGrande pitched a scoreless seventh inning, the Colonials got two more runs in the top of the eighth. But in the bottom of the inning, Ben Zeskind hit a solo shot to put Richmond back up two, 10-8.
In the ninth, the Colonials loaded the bases with just one out. Senior Geoff Milsom came to the plate and worked a run-scoring walk. But neither junior Tom Shanley nor sophomore Mickey Shupin could come up with the game tying hit.
“If you’re two for three in every series you’re going to be fine,” Shanley said. “We would have liked to take this one today but we just couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity.”
Wilkie picked up the loss, which moved his record to 2-3. Senior Brad Rosenblat continued to swing the bat well, going 2-for-3, driving in two and hitting his team high 11th home run of the season. Goldberg drove in four, going 2-for-3 in the loss.
“It was hard to sit out and watch last year,” Goldberg said. “I am seeing the ball well and helping the team, it’s good to be back.”
Saturday, the Colonials swept the doubleheader in thrilling fashion.
In game two, the Colonials led 4-1 going into the sixth inning. But starting pitcher Dan Sullivan faltered, giving way to reliever Dan Pfau, who came in with the bases loaded. Pfau got the second out of the inning before giving up a two-run double. With base runners on second and third with two out, Pfau got a strikeout to end the inning.
Pfau closed out the game in the seventh to give the Colonials a 4-3 win. Sullivan picked up his fifth win of the season while Pfau picked up the first save of his career.
Shanley went 3-for-4 while Goldberg went 2-for-4 with a single RBI.
“I went through a mid-season slump but I took some extra swings in the cage and my swing feels good again,” Shanley said.
In game one, GW used a complete-game three hitter from sophomore Derek Lutz to win 2-1. Lutz struck out six, allowing just one unearned run while running his record to 4-0.
The Colonials have two mid-week home games this week. Tuesday, they face Towson and Wednesday they will square off against Old Dominion. Both games are scheduled for 3 p.m.