WEB UPDATE: Baseball eyes improbable 40-win season

Posted Wednesday, May 18, 11:32 p.m. Just two weeks ago, it did not seem that the GW baseball team would be able to attain an important perennial goal: reaching the 40-win mark. The Colonials had 30 wins with only 10 games left.

Winning out would be an impossible task for most teams. Someone forgot to tell the Colonials this.

Since ending their losing streak at Xavier the team has won seven straight games, including a 4-2 victory over the University of Maryland Baltimore County Tuesday night.

“We got a little discouraged during that losing streak but I have been impressed by how we have bounced back,” head coach Steve Mrowka said. “We got through finals nicely and I have been impressed with how the team has come together and we are still able to get the 40-win plateau.”

With the victory, GW picked up the season sweep over UMBC (13-34), keeping the dream of a 40-win regular season alive, going into a three game set with Temple (16-31, 7-14 Atlantic 10) beginning Thursday.

The Colonials (37-16, 15-6 A-10), who have already clinched a spot in the A-10 Championship, need just one victory to clinch a share of their second consecutive A-10 West title.

“When we looked at the schedule in the beginning of the spring we didn’t know how important this series would be,” Mrowka said. “Now we know this series is the difference between achieving and not achieving some of the goals we set.”

Junior Dan Pfau got the start against the Retrievers and picked up the victory, allowing just two runs over seven innings. GW jumped out to a 4-0 lead, fueled by two RBI from senior catcher Joe Michalski.

In the eighth, sophomore reliever Derek Haese got into trouble by allowing runners to reach with just one out. Freshman Joel Brookens entered and closed out the inning. In the ninth he took the Retrievers out in order to end the game and pick up his seventh save of the season.

Senior Ryan Roberson (2-for-4) was the only Colonial to have a multiple hit game.

Pfau , normally relegated to the bullpen, started just his second game of the season.

“We wanted to get him another start and to give him some innings,” Mrowka said. “He didn’t pitch last week for us so we needed to extend him innings wise. If we get into the losers bracket at A-10s, he is going to have to start for us. So we started him and will use Brian Frazier out of the bullpen this weekend.”

The Colonials and the Owls will play a doubleheader Thursday beginning at noon and wrap up the series Friday. An A-10 West crown will also give the Colonials a first-round bye in the A-10 Tournament in Dayton, Ohio, taking place from May 25-28.

Temple has already been eliminated from playoff contention but comes in to the series with a five-game winning streak.

The Colonials will use their regular A-10 series configuration, going with sophomore Derek Lutz in game one of the doubleheader, senior Dan Sullivan in game two on Thursday and junior Josh Wilkie in the final game of the regular season Friday.

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