ARLINGTON, Va., April 16 — Among Jackie Robinson’s innumerable accomplishments was his ability to overcome adversity. Unfortunately, the GW baseball team was unable to emulate this spirit in the seventh annual Jackie Robinson game, played Wednesday afternoon a day after the anniversary of his first game as a Brooklyn Dodger.
The team was unable to recover from a poor first inning on their home field in Arlington against Towson, and fell 13-11. A grand slam helped give the Tigers a six-run lead that the Colonials could not catch up to.
“Get in the game. Act like the first inning never happened,” GW coach Steve Mrowka said to his players in the second inning against the Tigers on Wednesday.
A nice sentiment, but ultimately unattainable.
While the team played well the rest of the game, getting within two runs, they just were not able to close the gap.
“Won the game 11-7, if you take away the first, but that’s not what you do in baseball,” Mrowka said.
The Colonials were down 9-0 in the bottom of the third inning, when a double by sophomore Will Cooper brought in three runs.
It was a stark contrast to the Colonials’ 11-5 victory over the Tigers last month, an event that marked Mrowka’s 100th victory at GW. Towson also struck first in that contest, but the Colonials were able to rally a win.
But this time around something was off.
Mrowka said he felt the team’s tragic flaw was in the initial pitching lineup. Sophomore starter Faizan Choudhry allowed six runs in the first inning; five relievers were used after that.
“I said (after the game was over), ‘our starting pitcher’s gotta come out and do a better job,'” Mrowka said. “And we’ve got to have guys come through in the clutch. You get an opportunity to play, you’ve got to do a better job.”
His players agreed.
“We all have to work. The hitters have to do better, we need to field better, we need to pitch better,” redshirt junior Gavin Swanson said. “I don’t think there’s really one area where we’re struggling; I think we’re struggling in all areas.”
But some players were more optimistic about the game’s outcome.
“As a team I think that we played not up to our potential, but I think we’re starting to see that we can be a good team,” red shirt sophomore Justin Dignelli said. “There were some good things, we hit today, we played decent defense, but we need to do more. We need to have a game where pitching, defense and offense all click together.”