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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Baseball avoids series sweep with win over Fordham

Chance Malek pitched a scoreless two-thirds of a frame in GW's loss to Fordham on Saturday. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Chance Malek pitched a scoreless two-thirds of a frame in GW’s loss to Fordham on Saturday. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Peter Hoegler.

GW began its weekend series against Fordham with momentum.

The Colonials were winners of 12 of their last 14 games and stood atop the Atlantic 10 standings. But they lost steam against the Rams, losing two of three to fall to third in the league.

The Colonials got back on track Sunday, as junior Matthieu Robért came up with a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to avoid a series sweep. The Colonials picked up their 10th conference win of the year, good for the most in the A-10.

“If you can find a way to scrap one out when you’re not playing your best, that’s the sign of a championship team,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said.

After a lead-off double, Fordham jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on an RBI single. But starting pitcher Jacob Williams – who went seven innings, giving up one earned run on six hits – got out of his second straight jam and kept the game close for the Colonials early. Of the 88 pitches that Williams threw on the afternoon, 87 of them were fastballs.

“Williams did what he does best,” Ritchie said. “He is very tough out there. Williams is great at reading hitters on where to spot his fastball and utilizing his command.”

Fordham threatened to tack on another run in the seventh after a lead-off double, but senior center fielder Ryan Xepoleas came up big – throwing out a hustling Fordham base runner at the plate and ending the top of the inning.

In the bottom of the inning, GW got on the board after sophomore Andrew Selby singled to right, which scored Bobby Campbell. Fordham’s right fielder misplayed the ball, allowing Selby to advance to third. But GW’s bats came up cold yet again as sophomore Kevin Mahala and Xepoleas went down swinging, leaving Selby at third.

In the eighth, sophomore Eli Kashi hit a one-out single and advanced to second on an infield base hit by sophomore Joey Bartosic. Robert, who came into pinch hit for freshman Robbie Metz, then put the Colonials up for good with a game-winning RBI single. Robert has only 20 at-bats on the season but is batting .400.

“We figured out a way to win today,” Ritchie said. “It’s a sign of a resilient ball club.”

The Colonials will look to get back on a winning streak with a non-conference game at Towson on Tuesday afternoon.

Weekend Recap

Friday: 5-3 Fordham
Junior Bobby LeWarne kept Fordham scoreless through five innings, but then ran out of gas in the sixth and allowed three runs, two of which were earned. The Rams tacked on two from there to take game one, 5-3.

The GW bats came alive in the seventh inning as senior Ryan Xepoleas drove in sophomore Andrew Selby on a single to right center. Mahala, who came up with his sixth multiple-hit game of the season, scored later in the inning on a groundout to cut the Fordham lead to two.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Colonials had a runner on third but were unable to bring him home.

Saturday: 6-2 Fordham
GW posted two on the board early, but Fordham added six unanswered runs from the fifth inning on to take game two, 6-2.

Metz kept the Rams scoreless through four before giving a two-run shot in the fifth, tying the score at two. After adding a run in the sixth, Fordham added three insurance runs in the top of the ninth.

“Mentally, on the mound, we lost our focus of what the plan was,” Ritchie said. “We walked too many guys, and that got us into a lot of trouble.”

GW took a 1-0 lead in the first when Bartosic singled, stole second, advanced to third on a bunt and scored on a double steal. In the second, Mahala came up with a sacrifice fly, plating Campbell.

Freshmen Chance Malek and Tyler Swiggart and sophomore Jordan Sheinkop all pitched scoreless outings in relief for the Colonials.

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