Baseball fell in a three-game series against Davidson this weekend, extending its conference series struggles to 1–4 on the year.
The Colonials (22–18, 6–9 A-10) split a doubleheader with a 3–0 loss in the first game and a 6–5 victory in the second matchup Saturday. But the squad faltered Sunday, breaking the tie in a 6–5 loss against Davidson (19–16, 8–4 A-10).
“We know these teams are strong,” redshirt senior left-handed pitcher Kevin Hodgson said. “We know that going into these ball games, that we have to be on our game. We have a young team, we have a lot of new guys and a lot of it’s a learning experience.”
Despite a strong performance on the mound by junior right-handed pitcher Elliott Raimo, the Colonials could not rally their offense and succumbed to Davidson 3–0.
Raimo played seven innings for GW. He gave up two runs off two hits, four walks and seven strikeouts.
The squad out-hit the Wildcats 6–4, but Davidson’s defense robbed the Colonials of multiple hits and prevented them from bringing in any runs.
“The balls just weren’t falling,” sophomore infielder Tyler Hix said. “We were barreling balls all game. Honestly, I can’t really say anything negative about that. We were hitting well that first game, they just didn’t fall for us.”
In the seventh inning, Hix singled to left center, stole second and advanced to third on an error. Freshmen catcher Anthony Frechette and infielder Logan Doran had opportunities to drive Hix in, but the pair grounded out to end the inning.
“You have to take advantage of the moment and a tighter game like that, where hitting is a little tougher, both pitchers are on a roll,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said.
Solid starting pitching from freshman left-fielder Rich Pfluger helped clear the way for a 6–5 victory over the Wildcats.
Pfluger pitched six innings, allowing one earned run off six hits, one walk and three strikeouts. After falling behind 1–0, Pfluger recovered quickly and blanked the Wildcats for the following five innings.
“He has a lot of swag on the mound,” Ritchie said. “You can tell he enjoys himself in terms of when he’s successful. He’s dependable, he has been a nice injection into our starting pitching.”
Davidson rallied in the ninth inning and threatened the Colonials’ lead, placing the Wildcats within one run of GW.
Hix had a three-hit performance and later headed to the mound. His pitching allowed Davidson to score two runners and cut GW’s lead in half.
Junior right-handed pitcher Keagan McGinnis took over for Hix with one out and two runners on base. McGinnis intentionally walked a Davidson player to give himself a more favorable matchup with freshman outfielder Trevor Candelaria.
Ritchie said McGinnis’ “electric” slider would work well against Candelaria, who frequently swings at breaking balls and has a low walk rate.
“If you look at it statistically, he really swings at a lot of breaking balls, but he’s also only walked four times all year,” Ritchie said. “So that was the thing that allowed me to feel like this was the right decision, because I was less afraid of the walk scoring a run.”
GW could not overcome an early 5–0 deficit in an eventual 6–5 loss Sunday.
The Wildcats had four hits – two of them home runs – and two walks in 1.1 innings against senior right-handed pitcher Nate Woods. After junior infielder Matt Frey hit a home run in the first inning, Candelaria hit a three-run bomb in the second inning to put the Wildcats up 4–0.
Woods surrendered the ball to junior right-handed pitcher Jaret Edwards, who loaded the bases with a walk and allowed an additional runner to score.
Senior left-handed pitcher Pat Knight later took over and spun a gem, allowing no hits and no runs across four innings.
“Nate has been a guy for us all year,” Knight said. “We can’t expect him to go seven scoreless innings every time he goes out, and when he’s struggling, we have to pick him up and that’s just what I tried to do.”
A solo shot by senior utility player Dom D’Alessandro in the fourth and a run batted in double by freshman center fielder Cade Fergus in the fifth bumped the Colonials 5–2. Senior right-handed pitcher Brady Renner took over in the seventh inning and issued four walks.
After Renner loaded the bases in the top of the eighth, Hodgson stepped in to face sophomore outfielder Alex Mardiney. Senior infielder Max Bazin broke for home and scored Davidson’s sixth and final run. GW managed to score three more runs but could not climb out of the 6–5 hole.
“We can take these experiences that happen on the field, like that play in the eighth inning, for example, and the whole team can learn from that,” Hodgson said.