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Baseball take crucial game one in final A-10 series

Left-hander Kenny O’Brien pitches in a game last weekend against VCU. The Colonials kept their playoff hopes alive Thursday with a win against La Salle. Cameron Lancaster | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Brennan Murray.

One swing of the bat and the Colonials were down 3-0. It was only the top of the first.

In a series that GW (23-30, 13-9 A-10) likely needs to win to keep its season alive, the three-run La Salle homer was a disheartening blow to start things off for the club in the series opener.

From there on though, the Colonials’ resilience became the story. In the bottom half of the first, GW upped the ante by plating four runs of its own, shredding the Explorers’ early momentum on the way.

The home team then added six more over the next six innings, making for nine unanswered runs – an impressive feat en route to a 10-4 comeback victory.

After allowing the three earned runs in the first, junior Luke Staub settled down and let his offense climb back in the game. He held La Salle to just one run over the next seven innings, finishing his eight-inning effort with a total of five strikeouts.

Three GW batters turned in multiple-hit performances to aid the comeback and put the game out of reach of the Explorers. The first was senior shortstop Matthew Murakami, who went 3-4 in the game with four RBI. His double off the wall in the bottom of the first drove in a pair and gave the Colonials a pivotal 4-3 lead.

Freshman catcher Mathieu Robért and junior Owen Beightol added two hits apiece as well, together contributing two more RBI.

After La Salle scored a run in the fifth, Staub and junior Craig LeJeune kept the Explorers’ bats silent through the end. LeJeune pitched a scoreless ninth to make the final score official.

With only two days remaining on the conference schedule and three teams jockeying to make the seventh-place cutoff, the Colonials need a favorable outcome to survive the weekend.

Here are the scenarios for GW to make its first postseason appearance since 2005:

If the Colonials sweep the Explorers, they will guarantee themselves a trip to the Tar Heel State with the seventh spot in the standings.

If they win only one more, eighth-placed Butler and Saint Joseph’s, who currently own 12-10 conference records, would have a chance to force a tiebreaker if either is able to win its respective series.

Lastly, if GW goes cold and drops its final two contests, a series win for either the Bulldogs or the Hawks would end the Colonials’ tournament bid.

Game two of the series versus La Salle is slated for 1:00 p.m. on Friday.

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