COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Despite a great start Wednesday, the GW baseball team could not hold on. A walk-off homerun by Maryland’s Nick Jowers gave the Colonials their fifth loss in six games.
Solid pitching from junior Derrik Lutz allowed to GW take a 1-0 lead after two innings. In the third and fourth innings, GW’s bats came alive as they scored three runs on homeruns by shortstop Michael Parker and designated hitter Charlie Kruer, and doubles by senior Tom Shanley and junior Mickey Shupin.
Kruer’s homerun especially was a promising lift for a player and a team struggling at the plate.
“So far, it has been a real battle for me, and to hit this homerun definitely took the monkey off my back,” Kruer said.
Through four innings it looked like GW would coast to an easy win, but in the bottom of the fifth, Maryland caught up. Facing a 4-1 deficit, the Terrapins came to the plate looking for any help they could get – and GW gave them all they needed. With one costly Colonials error, Maryland was right back in the game, scoring three runs on four hits to tie the score at 4-4.
From then on, both teams struggled offensively as Lutz for GW and a combination of relievers for Maryland began to get comfortable and near un-hittable. In the top of the ninth, the Colonials stranded a runner on third, which ended up being a costly mistake.
After eight strong innings of seven-hit ball, and giving up only one earned run from pitcher Lutz, head coach Steve Mrowka went to freshman Tim Sexton to extend the game into extra innings. The first batter he faced, Jowers, got ahead of Sexton in the count and on a 3-1 pitch hit a game winning homerun over the centerfield wall.
“It was a tough loss,” Mrowka said. “Lutz pitched a great game and those errors in the field really hurt us. We have a long way to go in the season, and I know we will turn it around very soon.”
Starting pitcher Lutz also said team played well except that the breaks did not fall their way. Though the loss left a bitter taste in his mouth, Lutz looks forward to a promising junior season.
With the loss, GW’s losing streak hits five as they look to end their woes as they travel to Richmond, Va., to play Virginia Commonwealth in a three-game series this weekend.