Transfers provide reliable foundation for baseball’s roster

Media Credit: File Photo by Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Sophomore infielder Tyler Hix throws a pitch during a home game against Rhode Island late last month.

Four transfers are making an impact for baseball in their inaugural season at GW.

Sophomore infielder Tyler Hix, junior catcher Greg Anderberg, redshirt freshman infielder Derek Ripp and junior right-handed pitcher Keagan McGinnis are making strong offensive and defensive contributions halfway into their first season at GW. Their contributions have elevated the Colonials (20–13, 4–5 A-10) into the top of the conference offensive leaderboards.

“They’re a real presence at the mound, Hix and those guys, McGinnis,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said. “They hold presence when they go out on the field.”

The Colonials sit at No. 8 in the conference with four wins in Atlantic 10 play, but their offense bumps them into the top-two in several offensive categories. GW has the second-highest on-base percentage and slugging percentage in the conference at .405 and .450, respectively. The Colonials hold the third-fewest number of strikeouts in the conference at 205. GW also tops the conference in runs scored and number of hits.

Hix, Ripp and Anderberg provide a strong offensive presence on the team, combining for nearly 23 percent of the team’s 364 total hits. Defensively, McGinnis’ 29 strikeouts on the year account for 11 percent of the pitching staff’s 263 total strikeouts.

Hix tallied 47 runs batted in and connected on 28 extra base hits during one year in the community college circuit. At GW, he has the third-highest batting average at .328 on the Colonials’ roster and the second-highest number of doubles and RBI. His 25 RBI on the season last month ranked him second in the nation, and he has since boosted that tally to 39.

“He’s pretty much cleaning up everything on the bases,” junior infielder Nate Fassnacht said after the team’s game against Manhattan last month. “If I’m first or second, it’s almost guaranteed I’m getting in.”

Hix is also a two-way player, regularly playing in the infield and appearing on the mound five times this season. Ritchie said Hix’s ability to pitch, play any position in the field and swing a strong bat makes him a strong asset to the team.

“He could play short, he could play middle infield, he could play in the outfield,” Ritchie said. “I don’t have a problem putting him in center if I had to. He gives you a lot of options to move guys around.”

Ripp and Anderberg have proven to be consistent contributors offensively, combining for 22 RBI on the season. The duo also work pitchers into favorable counts and get themselves on base, drawing 16 and 12 walks, respectively.

Ripp, who redshirted at Arkansas last year, has seen action in the infield this season in 24 games. He ranks sixth on the team in fielding percentage at .967 on 151 catches. Ripp has proven his ability to get on base, owning a .404 on-base percentage.

“He’s a big first baseman, and he’s a left-handed bat in the lineup, and he’s had some impact at bat,” Ritchie said. “I’m looking for him to get stronger and better and continue to move along.”

Anderberg has assumed the role as the team’s primary catcher, starting behind the plate in 20 games this season. In his second year in the community college circuit, he connected on 13 extra base hits. He carries a .261 batting average and batted in 11 runs on the season.

McGinnis has become a cornerstone for the Colonials this season, pitching 25 innings out of the bullpen on 16 appearances and allowing just 19 hits. His 1.36 walks plus hits per inning pitching is the second-lowest on the team, and he limits his opponents to a .194 batting average at the plate.

The team has been plagued by pitching injuries throughout the season, limiting its options from the mound. Ritchie said these added pitching constraints have made McGinnis’ presence a welcome addition to the bullpen.

“McGinnis has been a really pleasant find. He’s a guy that has no fear on the mound,” Ritchie said. “He’s very tough to hit, so he’s been a stabilizing force.”

The Colonials return to action Friday on the road in game one of a three-game weekend series against Massachusetts. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.

Alec Rich contributed reporting.

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