ARLINGTON, Va. – Against Rhode Island in a weekend series, relief pitching was the trump card. The Colonials dropped Friday’s contest 7-0, lost Saturday 9-6 and won Sunday 4-2.
On Sunday, GW baseball coach Steve Mrowka used relief pitchers in the first two innings before bringing in junior Derek Haese for three and two-thirds innings. Starter Dan Pfau, a senior, closed out the game. On Saturday, Mrowka handed the ball to his bullpen with a five-run lead, in search of six outs. Instead he got a loss.
Mrowka aired some of his concerns after Saturday’s game.
“We don’t have any continuity,” Mrowka said. “When our hitting is there, our pitching is not and when our pitching is there our hitting is not. We need to become more consistent to get back to our winning ways and put it all together. But this team still is still working hard to reach the (Atlantic 10) Conference Tournament.”
In Sunday’s contest, sophomore Charlie Kruer’s first inning, a three-run homerun set the stage for a GW’s (7-19, 1-5 A-10) first conference win.
Haese gave up one run and one hit with no walks in the win. Pfau allowed seven hits and four walks but only one run.
Rhode Island (14-5, 4-1 A-10) got on the scoreboard first Saturday when in the second inning first baseman Ryan Cunningham blasted a Wilkie 1-2 pitch over the left-field fence.
The Colonials’ bats came alive in the fourth inning. With a leadoff double by freshman second baseman Brian Hwang, the Colonials’ offense started. The next batter, third baseman Tom Shanley, a senior, advanced Hwang over to third with a groundout to the left side of the infield.
With a runner on third and one out, the catcher, Andrew Abokhair, drilled an 0-2 Adam Perkins offering into the outfield to get the scoring started. The next batter, leftfielder Mickey Shupin, crushed a double to the opposite field, advancing Abokhair over to third with still only one out.
The next three hitters for GW, centerfielder Matt Owens, designated hitter Jeremy Hall and rightfielder Matt Boyd, all notched RBI with a fielder’s choice, single, and reached on an error, respectively. The inning ended with a Michael Parker fly-out, but not after GW scored five runs on four hits and three errors to take a 5-1 lead.
Until the eighth inning, GW seemed to be in control. Mrowka turned to his relief pitching, which proved to be to his detriment. Haese walked the first batter he faced and then loaded the bases with no outs. Haese then walked third baseman Shaun Hagey, allowing the floodgates to open.
The next hitter struck out, but Haese did not get another out in his short appearance, allowing three more runs, two of which were unearned. Pfau, who allowed two more runs, one of which was unearned, followed him. All in all, URI finished the eighth scoring six runs, having three hits and taking the lead 9-8.
GW gets back on the diamond Tuesday against Towson in Towson, Md. The Colonials return to Barcroft Field in Arlington Wednesday for a one-game stand with Delaware State followed by a weekend series with league rival Xavier.