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The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Baseball team loses five-run lead at Towson

Then-sophomore Owen Beightol slides safely into third base last season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Joshua Solomon.

Coming off a weekend series against Cornell in which they won three out of four, the Colonials had finally gained some momentum. And taking the field at Towson, GW maintained its success by scoring five runs in the top of the first inning.

But by the end of first,the score was 5-1. But that only served to mark the beginning of a collapse that saw the Colonials blow a 5-0 lead. GW (3-11) went onto lose 9-5, never scoring again, as their bullpen only shu tout the Tigers (8-6) in two frames.

“It’s like with any game, you got to play every inning, every pitch, every out and when you don’t, things will tend to steamroll and you run the risk of losing the lead like a 5-nothing lead. So, simple as that,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said.

Senior Justin Albright lead off the game with a single and then stole second base. An RBI single from junior Brookes Townsend followed by a walk and an RBI base hit by senior Derek Brown put GW up 2-0 with no outs.

Shortly thereafter, a throwing error with the bases loaded led to two runners coming home. A ground out by freshman Travers Nammack scored the fifth run of the inning. Things looked promising for GW as it entered the scoreboard in a convincing way. But ultimately over the game, Ritchie said, the team couldn’t string together a consecutive series of strong performances at the plate.

“It’s just the continuation of taking one consistent at-bat back after the next. It’s a good at-bat and then it’s three bad,” Ritchie said. “It’s really a mental focus, guys staying within themselves. You go through these things.You have to learn from it, keep moving on.”

GW had one more rally in its bats. With two outs, bases loaded situation in the seventh, Ritchie used freshman Nolan Lodden to pinch hit for senior Tyler McCarthy. He said his senior had looked sluggish at the plate for a week now, and the head coach and felt Lodden was the right choice as a switch hitter in the pending lefty-righty scenario.

But Lodden took the first two pitches for ball one and two, and ended up striking out looking.

“You got to be ready to hit once the green light is on. And he took two fastballs over the plate. That’s something we cannot do as a hitting group. It is unacceptable.” Ritchie said.

On the mound, junior Craig Lejeune started the game, throwing two and a third innings yielding two earned runs with five hits and a walk. After 2.1 innings of play he exited the field, and the bullpen struggled to maintain the lead he’d helped to build.

Though Towson was held scoreless for the second inning, it scored at least one run over the next five, including a three-run sixth inning, that gave it a decisive lead.

“They didn’t pitch. They walked guys. Look at the line score. Had some errors behind some guys which extended their innings. We had a couple pitchers that quite honestly got five or six outs in the inning before we actually got out of the inning,” Ritchie said.

The coach would not attribute any potential fatigue from the team’s weekend series with Cornell to why the pitching staff was not up to par.

“Tired? That’s not a word in my vocabulary. It doesn’t exist. It never exists,” Ritchie said.

And he expects his team to be ready for their upcoming series against UPenn this weekend.

“You have to go up there and play basic, fundamentally sound, consistently mentally focused baseball. That’s it,” Ritchie said. “And when you do that you put yourself in the position to battle, to scratch, to claw, to win.”

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