Baseball improved its record to .500 for the first time this season with a win over UMBC Tuesday.
The Colonials (6-6) defeated the Retrievers (1-7) 5–3 through a combination of aggressive offensive play and solid pitching. They have now won five of their last six games.
Junior pitcher Pat Knight said the team’s level of play has been elevated by GW’s increasing positive mentality.
“It’s about the high energy at practice, high energy before games, staying loose and not taking anything too seriously,” he said.
Knight relieved starting pitcher sophomore Jaret Edwards in the fifth inning, then gave up only one hit over his 3.1 innings and earned his first win of the season.
“Pat has turned himself into a go-to guy for us, he’s got the right mentality for it,” pitching coach Rick Oliveri said. “He’s been throwing a lot of strikes lately and mixing three pitches, which makes him tough.”
Over the winning stretch, Oliveri’s pitching staff has found its rhythm. Eight pitchers have an ERA of less than two.
“I think our staff has complemented each other well,” Oliveri said. “We have a lot of different guys do different things.”
Despite only giving up two runs and four hits, Edwards left the game after only 4.2 innings. The decision was intended to keep him available for relief this weekend, Oliveri said.
“We want to keep our guys under a certain pitch count so they can come back and pitch on the weekend,” he said. “Jared may have gone a little longer had it been a start where we didn’t have games coming up tomorrow, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”
The game moved at a quick pace, with batters on both teams going down in a row in multiple innings. Knight said the fast innings were helpful in getting into a rhythm on the mound.
“As as pitcher, sometimes you want it to move that quickly so you can get in a groove,” Knight said. “Personally, I love working at that pace, so it was good for me.”
From the beginning of the outing, the Colonials took an aggressive approach at bat and on the base path – bunting for hits, tagging up on fly balls and taking extra bases.
GW came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning, looking to break a 2–2 tie.
Sophomore shortstop Nate Fassnacht bunted for a single, advancing to third after two fielder’s choice plays. Later in the inning, UMBC catcher Zack Bright hesitated on a dropped third strike play – allowing Fassnacht to score and GW to take the lead.
Senior first baseman Matt Cosentino said the Colonials’ willingness to make more risky plays and still execute basic skills allowed them to hold off the Retrievers.
“Today we got a good mix of good pitching, timely hitting and good base running,” he said. “It was a good mix of aggressive parts of our games that really showed today.”
Cosentino went 2-for-2 with an RBI Tuesday after earning A-10 Player of the Week honors for his play last week.
“It was a huge honor to get that award,” he said. “Hopefully someone else on the team comes and takes the crown from me this week.”
The Colonials will conclude their homestand Wednesday against Delaware State. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.