Baseball won its first home series of the season against Monmouth last weekend, winning its first two games before dropping the final.
Strong offensive performances from the the Colonials (5-6) helped them take the first two games of the series against the Hawks (3-6), but defensive errors and up-and-down pitching kept them from completing the sweep Sunday afternoon.
Windy conditions in the D.C. area Friday forced the first contest in the three-game series to be postponed to Saturday – pushing Saturday’s scheduled game to be played as part of a doubleheader the following day.
Senior outfielder Mark Osis said playing three games in little more than 24 hours wasn’t ideal, but the stressful conditions helped the team improve for the future.
“It won’t always be easy, guys’ bodies will be hurting, guys will be tired and struggling to focus the entire 18-inning day,” he said. “But those are the things we have to continue to work on and get better at.”
Osis led the squad offensively during the series, finishing with six runs batted in, six hits and three runs scored. His batting average improved to .409 over the series, and he is currently the only Colonial above .400 on the year.
The Colonials opened the series with a nine-run first inning that put them on track to a 18–6 rout on Saturday afternoon.
GW’s offense gave its best performance of the season thus far with 19 combined hits. Eight different Colonials recorded a hit during the contest.
“We did a good job holding our zones, swinging at good pitches, taking our walks, getting our hits, and found barrels in situations when guys were on base,” assistant coach Dave Lorber said.
Senior third baseman Isaiah Pasteur led the charge, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and three RBI. Senior first baseman Matt Cosentino added three hits and five RBIs.
Senior right-hander Brady Renner earned his first win of the year on the mound, giving up only two runs in six innings pitched. Senior pitcher Tyler Swiggart continued his scoreless season in his two innings of relief.
A ninth-inning rally capped by a walk-off two-run home run by Osis powered the Colonials to a 6–4 win in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader.
The win was GW’s fourth consecutive – a stark change after an 0-4 start to the season.
Sophomore pitcher Elliott Raimo held the Hawks hitless through five innings and gave up one unearned run through his 7.1 innings. He fanned eight hitters, including striking out the side in the second inning.
The Colonials stayed ahead of the Hawks for the majority of the matchup, losing the lead only after Monmouth scored three runs in the top of the ninth. They trailed 4–2 with three outs remaining in the game.
A triple by Pasteur in the bottom of the ninth sparked a late-game offensive surge, bringing GW within a run of the lead. After a fielder’s choice brought Pasteur home, Osis knocked the ball over the fence for his second time this season.
“Coach sent me a plan just saying stay on the ball, go on the other way with it, get a single and bring that run in,” Osis said. “I just kind of hit it squarer than I thought I was going to.”
After winning in such a high-intensity manner, Osis said it was difficult for the team to keep their emotions in check and get right back out on the field for the third game against the Hawks.
“It’s exciting, but then you have to be able to refocus and be ready to come out and play the next nine as if it’s the next day,” he said.
Monmouth took control early on, scoring two runs in the first inning and maintaining the lead for the game’s entirety. The Colonials snapped their winning streak with a 7–3 loss to close out the weekend series.
GW’s pitching staff struggled to regain control, with five different players taking the mound. In the seventh inning alone, the Colonials switched pitchers three times.
“After winning big and walking off in the second game, you want to get right after it,” Raimo said. “We were excited to get out there and play the third game and then just kind of hit a bit of a lull and came back a little too late.”
Lorber said the team hopes to translate their experience over the weekend into sharper play in the upcoming weeks.
“We have yet to play a clean game of errorless baseball. We need to do that,” he said. “If we do that, we’re in a really good position to win games.”
The Colonials will continue their homestand against UMBC Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.