Updated: May 13, 2019 at 10:06 a.m.
Baseball bid farewell to Tucker Field for the season with its first sweep in two months, besting St. Bonaventure in its last Atlantic 10 conference series of the campaign.
The Colonials (30–22, 11–13 A-10) held the lead throughout the entirety of the first two games, dominating the Bonnies (13–29, 6–15 A-10) 11–9 in game one and 10–3 in game two. The final game of the series – and the Colonials’ last home game of the season – was a come-from-behind 6–5 win that extended into extra innings.
The sweep gives the squad its fourth 30-win season under head coach Gregg Ritchie. The Colonials are the third team in the A-10 to reach a 30-win mark behind VCU and Fordham.
“They don’t remember a lot about how you started, but they remember how you finish,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said. “Regardless of playoffs, no playoffs, the finish is always important, it’s a growth.”
An explosive third inning for GW’s offense proved too much for St. Bonaventure to overcome. Despite a ninth-inning rally from the Bonnies, the Colonials came out on top 11–9.
The Bonnies’ pitching allowed 16 hits and struck out three batters on the day.
A home run from senior utility player Dom D’Alessandro kicked off the third inning windfall for the Colonials, scoring the first of seven runs in the inning and solidifying GW’s lead.
Freshman second baseman Noah Levin drove in four of the Colonials’ 11 runs, hitting two singles to right field to accomplish the feat.
“He did a really good job with the plate,” Ritchie said. “He knows he has to improve his game like everybody, but it is nice to see guys like him step up.”
The Bonnies threatened the lead with a surge of their own in the ninth inning, scoring four runs and bringing the winning run to the plate. GW used three pitchers until junior right-handed reliever Keagan McGinnis recorded the final out for the Colonials.
GW boasted its most decisive win of the series in game two, outhitting St. Bonaventure and defeating the Bonnies 10–3.
Freshman left-handed pitcher Rich Pfluger started on the mound and pitched 4.2 innings, allowing one earned run and walking one batter. Senior left-hander Pat Knight relieved Pfluger, earning one run and striking out five in three innings.
A throwing error in the second inning scored two runs and gave GW a lead. A solo shot from D’Alessandro added to the lead in the fourth, and the Colonials scored at least one run during the subsequent four innings.
The Bonnies struck out seven times and notched six hits in the contest.
After the game, GW honored its six graduating seniors – D’Alessandro, left-handed pitcher Kevin Hodgson, right-handed pitcher Nate Woods, left-handed pitcher Pat Knight and catcher Alex O’Rourke – in an annual ceremony.
The final home game of the season spanned 10 innings and ended with a walk-off win from Levin.
The Colonials’ pitching got off to a rocky start after junior right-hander Jaret Edwards allowed four hits and three runs, forcing Ritchie to swap him out for Hodgson, who induced a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.
“He wasn’t commanding the ball except right in the middle of the plate,” Ritchie said. “Those guys were getting more and more momentum, and I knew that if we wanted to figure out a way to come back in this game – against their No. 1 pitcher – I knew that if I let it go past three runs, it would be a really difficult thing.”
The Colonials slowly gained back momentum, scoring at least one run in five of the 10 innings. A two-run bomb by D’Alessandro in the fifth tied the game in the eighth inning. D’Alessandro went 6-for-12 and hit a home run in every game of the series.
The two teams were at a standstill until the bottom of the 10th when a single from Levin scored junior utility player Steve Barmakian and clinched the victory for the Colonials.