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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Three alumni join Board of Trustees
By Hannah Marr, News Editor • June 21, 2024

Junior shortstop jumps to national ranks, quietly anchoring young baseball lineup

Junior infielder Nate Fassnacht has anchored a baseball lineup that has featured six new players.

Junior infielder Nate Fassnacht found himself in baseball’s starting nine as a freshman with eight juniors and seniors positioned around the diamond three years ago.

Now, as one of the team’s six non-pitching upperclassmen, he is anchoring a lineup that has featured six players getting their first taste of Division I baseball, commanding the field as the team’s shortstop.

Fassnacht is currently hitting .415 and leads the team in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, walks and runs scored. His mark of 15 doubles on the year leads not only GW’s roster – but all Division I baseball players as of Wednesday.

While Fassnacht’s statistics speak volumes, head coach Gregg Ritchie said his steady, understated leadership is the foundation grounding the entire team.

“There are different kinds of leaders, there’s a leader that can run their mouth and be big and bold and carry a huge presence, and then there’s a leader that is the inspirational leader, and then there’s a leader like Nate,” Ritchie said. “Nate’s got a quieter voice, but when he talks, it’s right, and when he acts, it’s really right.”

Fassnacht serves as the centerpiece of one of the strongest defenses in the Atlantic 10. He has led the Colonials to the second-fewest total errors in the conference and presided over an infield that has turned in a conference-leading 33 double plays so far this season.

“Nate’s a guy who has a high toolkit,” Ritchie said. “Every aspect of the game that you would like a player to be able to accomplish, he has that ability in him and he has some consistency with most of them.”

While the junior has grown into a leadership role, he has been putting up solid hitting numbers since he arrived in Foggy Bottom.

In his debut season, he ranked fourth on the team with a .332 batting average. He owned a .277 batting average the next year but still ended the season with 14 multi-hit games.

Now, the shortstop falls in the top 10 among A-10 competition in batting average, runs batted in, home runs and stolen bases alongside a handful of Colonials.

“It’s definitely exciting to be a part of something like that,” Fassnacht said. “I’m just going to keep doing my thing, and see if they keep adding up.”

Earlier this season, Fassnacht said he has been able to tap into his experience as a rookie surrounded by high-level talent to help give his fellow Colonials advice now that he has moved up the ranks of the team.

“Nate just does everything right,” senior utility Dom D’Alessandro said. “He doesn’t have bad body language on the field, always keeps a straight head. He’s not the most vocal leader, but that’s alright because not everyone is. He’s a guy that definitely leads by example and he’s leading by example through his play.”

Fassnacht and D’Alessandro – whose .421 batting average tops the A-10 – are two of the Colonials’ top offensive pieces. Sophomore infielder Tyler Hix said he and his teammates try to follow the example the duo sets in the batter’s box.

“You see people like Dom, Nate hitting as well as they’re hitting, they kind of just go out there, they set the example for the teammates that they have,” Hix said. “So we just try to fall in those footsteps.”

With two months left in the season, Ritchie said players pick up on Fassnacht’s inner drive and performance and feed off his desire to succeed on the field and at the plate.

“He’s humble, but he’s also a guy who grinds for a win,” Ritchie said. “You can tell he doesn’t like to lose and the guys see that.”

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