Baseball closed out its series against Massachusetts Lowell with a walk-off win in extra innings to conclude the weekend’s rubber match Sunday afternoon.
With GW (7-6) down 4–2 with two outs and bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, freshman outfielder Cade Fergus hit a moon shot that dropped in the left field warning track to score two Colonials and send the Colonials and River Hawks (1-12) into extra innings. GW tacked on the winning run in the bottom of the 10th to take the game 5–4 and capture the series 2–1.
“The guys have been hungering to have one of those instead of one against you,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said. “We’ve had a couple of those not go our way.”
The Colonials opened the weekend with a 9–6 victory over Massachusetts Lowell on a 17-hit performance Friday afternoon before conceding a 12–1 loss Saturday.
The Colonials hit .315 across all three outings over the weekend and, after tallying 18 strikeouts throughout the first two contests, recorded just five Ks against them in the final game.
“I’m really happy and proud of what they did today because that was one of our central focuses today,” Ritchie said. “Regardless of whether we won or lost, we got 10 hits or three hits, not double-digit strikeouts. Big deal.”
The Colonials matched their season-high hit count in the first game of the series on their way to a 9–6 victory.
Senior utility player Dom D’Alessandro led the charge from the batter’s box, going 3-for-4 at the plate while adding a team-leading three runs batted in. A total of six Colonials recorded multiple hits in the game on the way to the win.
GW hopped out to a quick 4–0 lead after two innings and scored five more runs in the final six innings of play.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jaret Edwards earned his third win of the season after holding the River Hawks to two runs on eight hits and recording three strikeouts in six innings of work. Edwards is 3-0 on the season.
The River Hawks entered the final frame down 9–3 came back with a vengeance in the top of the ninth, tacking on three more runs to put pressure on the Colonials.
With runners on second and third and the tying run at the plate, junior right-handed pitcher Keagan McGinnis was called up from the bullpen to close out the game. The River Hawks scored their final run of the day on a sacrifice fly before another flyout by Massachusetts Lowell ended the game and earned McGinnis the save.
GW’s bats went cold in the second game, with the Colonials recording just seven hits en route to a 12–1 loss. GW’s one run of the day marked the team’s lowest scoring outing this season.
“We had a game where we just didn’t click,” Ritchie said. “It happens, but I think what we learned out of this – which was a valuable thing – is that the less you do, the more you get.”
The River Hawks picked apart the Colonials’ pitchers, recording 15 hits against seven different throwers.
“That pitching side has to be non-volatile,” Ritchie said. “It can’t be this wave, it’s got to be something that stays and stays and hovers in a good area.”
Both teams were relatively quiet through the first two innings of play before the River Hawks exploded with a five-run outing in the third inning. Massachusetts Lowell ended the frame with a three-run homer to take a commanding 5–0 lead.
The River Hawks scored runs throughout the middle of the game, sending players across the plate in the top of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
The Colonials matched their season-high errors mark with three in the game before the sixth inning.
“We’re working big on communicating and yesterday, we had a couple times where there was lack of communication,” junior infielder Nate Fassnacht said.
The Colonials connected on just four hits through the first seven innings of play before GW plated its first and only run of the day in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Fassnacht smacked a double down the left field line to send junior utility Steve Barmakian over home plate and get GW on the scoreboard down 10–1.
The River Hawks tacked on two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning before giving the Colonials one last shot at scoring.
A walk and a hit pitcher loaded the bases for the Colonials when Barmakian stepped up to the plate with two outs in the game, but Barmakian flied out in his at-bat to give the River Hawks a piece of the series.
“We’re definitely capable of more than that,” Barmakian said. “They played a great game but that doesn’t take away from what we should’ve done as an offense and as a team as a whole.”
The Colonials were slow out of the gate Sunday afternoon and trailed the River Hawks for eight innings before forcing the game into extra innings and securing a walk-off 5–4 win to cap off the series.
“Bottom of the ninth is where all the work from the previous innings came to fruition,” Barmakian said. “We’d been hitting the ball hard since probably the bottom of the sixth seventh and eighth, we were really connecting with balls.”
Freshman right-handed pitcher Alex Kobersteen gave up four runs in his first two innings of work, but shored up his play and held the River Hawks scoreless throughout the third and fourth innings.
“What he did today cannot go unnoticed,” Ritchie said. “He got crunched a little bit in that first inning, and he showed some maturity to go back out there and shut ‘em down.”
Massachusetts Lowell freshman pitcher Sal Fusco was throwing heat in his five innings of work, holding the Colonials to three hits through the first five innings before GW got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Solid showings on the mound first by senior southpaw Pat Knight, then by junior right-handed pitcher Andrew Wheeler and finally by McGinnis held the River Hawks scoreless through the ninth inning.
Freshman utility player Noah Levin batted in the winning run with bases loaded for GW in the bottom of the 10th inning for his first hit of the day. Levin smacked a fastball to short and reached first on a fielder’s choice, beating the throw from second to first to avoid the double play and giving the Colonials their final win of the weekend.
The Colonials return to action 3 p.m. Tuesday when they host Towson.