It had been more than two weeks since the baseball team had last won a game when senior starter Tommy Gately took the mound Wednesday for the Colonials’ mid-week contest against Maryland-Baltimore County.
Seven straight defeats was unacceptable for Gately, so the right-hander took it upon himself to be the Colonials stopper against the Retrievers, surrendering just one run and four hits over eight innings of work.
“He was our stopper today. You need that. You need a guy to come in there when the team’s struggling, to go in there and throw up a zero,” head coach Stephen Mrowka said. “He could have had a shutout there, he made a mistake on the little guy, walked him. He’s pitched well all year, picked us up when we needed it.”
Gately worked quickly against UMBC, consistently getting ahead of hitters early with first-pitch strikes and retiring the Retrievers in order in five his eight innings.
“The weather definitely had something to do with it, but I usually do really like to work quick,” Gately said. “I knew this team, we’ve pitched against them before. A big mentality is, they’re kind of free-swingers, so I knew I had to get ahead and stay ahead the whole game,” he added.
Behind Gately, the Colonials had a mixed day defensively, with two errors but also at least two diving stops by infielders. One of those stops came in the ninth inning from freshman first baseman Owen Beightol, whose diving stab helped divert a potential UMBC rally.
“It’s great because we really owed it to [Gately] to play defense and we played pretty well today,” Beightol said. “When a guy’s pitching like that we have to be playing defense behind him or things get out of hand pretty quick.”
Mrowka also juggled his batting order Wednesday, sliding senior outfielder Brenon Kelliher into the leadoff spot and sliding Beightol into the No. 3 spot. The move paid off for Beightol, who got three RBIs off of a bases clearing double in the second inning.
Kelliher also had a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-4 in the leadoff spot and scoring a run in the victory.
“Just juggling the lineup,” Mrowka said. “We’re not hitting, we’re not producing, so we’re just trying to mix it up a little bit. It paid off today.”
The Colonials will be busy over spring break with nine games. GW will be back on the field at home Friday against Binghamton with first pitch scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
“I hope its huge because we were definitely on a slide where we just weren’t hitting and our pitching was keeping us in