After giving up three runs in the top of the first inning, baseball bounced back from the early deficit to pull out a decisive 10–4 victory against the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (5-22) Tuesday afternoon.
Lights-out pitching from senior Tyler Swiggart (2-1) along with strong hitting helped the Colonials (13-15) erase the early 3–0 deficit to give the Colonials their third midweek win in a row.
Senior center fielder Joey Bartosic, who went 3-for-5 from the plate, and had a single stolen base, tying him for second-most stolen bases in program history with head coach Gregg Ritchie.
Freshman pitcher Andrew Wheeler struggled early in the game, giving up five hits and three runs before the Colonials had a chance to hit. Despite the struggles on the mound, the team turned it around and capitalized on key at-bats.
“We have a really veteran team, a really veteran lineup, so we weren’t concerned at all,” Bartosic said. “We’ve played these guys in the past we know we can put up a lot of runs on these guys so we weren’t really too worried.”
RBI singles from junior outfielder Mark Osis and junior catcher Brandon Chapman, along with a sacrifice fly from pinch-hitter senior Cody Bryant knotted the score 3—3.
An RBI from freshman infielder Nate Fassnacht put the Colonials on top while junior second baseman Robbie Metz contributed another RBI to extend the Colonials advantage to 5–3 heading into the second inning.
Swiggart was substituted in and pitched six innings. He ended the game with four strikeouts, five hits and one run allowed.
UMES was held to just one more run after their early lead, when Hawks redshirt junior Dallas Culotta hit a solo home run at the top of the third to narrow the Colonials lead to 5–4.
The sixth inning spelled trouble for GW when the Hawks were able to load the bases with no outs after multiple fielding errors.
Efficient pitching from Swiggart and clutch fielding plays from Fassnacht and Osis, however, kept the Hawks at bay.
“I’ve been there before, so in my head I was like, ‘I’ve done this before a million times,” Swiggart said. “As a bullpen we gotta be able to come in and step up like that we did today, and just keep going in big situations and holding it down.”
Senior Bobby Campbell took matters into his own hands in the seventh inning, when the first baseman hit a solo home run deep into left field.
Campbell, who went 2-of-4 from the plate, now has four home runs on the season.
A sacrifice fly from junior Matt Consentino sealed the six-run victory.
Junior pitcher Kevin Hodgson took the reins from Swiggart at the top of the eighth inning, while freshman pitcher Emmett Harkins closed out the game in the ninth. Hodgson had three strikeouts in as many at bats.
“We just got to keep hitting the ball like we were today,” Swiggart said. “We attacked the pitcher pretty well and we ran his pitch count up really well…but we gotta stay on it and keep the gas pedal down and just keep hitting the ball.”
The Colonials travel to Charlottesville, Va., tomorrow to face off against Virginia. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.