Rookie pitchers help baseball edge UMBC

Hot off a series win over Atlantic 10 rival Richmond last weekend, baseball took its time scoring during Tuesday’s midweek game against UMBC.

The scoreboard didn’t move for six innings as GW (16-17, 5-5 A-10) and the Retrievers (9-14) were in gridlock, tied 2-2 after both teams picked up early runs in the game.

But the Colonials capitalized on miscues by UMBC in the eighth inning, loading the bases with one out and ultimately sending senior Andrew Selby over the plate to break the tie and ultimately clinch a 3–2 victory. 

“It’s a good win,” senior Bobby Campbell said. “It’s a midweek [game], coach always tells us they’re grinders.”

The Colonials pitching staff tallied their first game of the season with no walks in the win, led by freshman pitcher Jeret Edwards.

“I didn’t want to walk anyone,” Edwards said. “I’ve had problems with that before, so today I was trying to get ahead with the fastball.”

Edwards (2–2) only let up one hit in the four innings he pitched, after coming in to relieve freshman Emmett Harkins, who had a 4.26 ERA in the game, in the top of the fourth.

“[Edwards] is a tough kid who competes and can throw strikes and multiple pitches,” pitching coach Rick Olivier said. “That’s a good formula.”

GW was the first to draw blood in the game. In the bottom of the second, Campbell gave the Colonials an early lead, hitting his sixth double and 25th RBI of the season to send Selby home.

But the Retrievers were quick to answer back, hitting a two-run double in the top of the third to take a 2–1 lead. UMBC had three straight two-out hits in the third.

UMBC didn’t get to enjoy its lead for long after freshman Nate Fassnacht (.311) got himself on first on a two-out single.  The Retrievers walked junior Mark Osis, and with two men on base, second baseman junior Robbie Metz (.298) hit a single RBI to knot the score 2–2.   

It was a battle on the mound after the fourth inning when Edwards entered the game.

Strong defense in the field by the Colonials along with lights-out pitching by Edwards helped retire UMBC’s batters quickly in the middle innings.

In the sixth, Fassnacht got on first base with his second hit of the day but was tagged out after a failed attempt to steal second.

UMBC’s Mitchell Carroll robbed the Colonials of hits on two separate occasions when the junior made leaping catches in the infield to prevent the Colonials from getting on base.

It wasn’t until the eighth inning when the tides turned in GW’s favor.

Campbell, who went 2-for-4 in the game, was due at bat during the Colonials’ best scoring opportunity of the game to break the stalemate.

The senior was able to load the bases with one out after a miscommunication between the Retrievers’ pitcher and third baseman got Campbell on first despite hitting a pop-up.

A fielder’s choice RBI by junior catcher Brandon Chapman sent Selby over the plate once more to put GW ahead 3–2.

In the top of the ninth, senior pitcher Eddie Muhl came in to close out the game for his fifth save of the season.

While it was a slow hitting day for the Colonials, it was the pitching staff that ultimately helped pull out the victory.

“All three guys that pitched today challenged hitters, even when they got behind they were able to get back into the count,” Oliveri said.

The Colonials travel to Villanova on Thursday for the first of a three-game series.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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