Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

NEWSLETTER
Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter!

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

Baseball seniors hope for an A-10 Championship run in final year

Senior+utility+player+Steve+DiTomaso+has+been+a+crucial+player+for+the+team%2C+averaging+a+.329+batting+average+with+over+70+hits+and+42+runs.
File Photo by Erin Leone | Staff Photographer
Senior utility player Steve DiTomaso has been a crucial player for the team, averaging a .329 batting average with over 70 hits and 42 runs.

Fueled by senior players’ last chance at an Atlantic 10 Championship run, baseball’s 2023 season kicked off with a disappointing regular season record.

The Colonials (9-20) recorded their worst preseason performance since the 2016 season, where they lost 18 games and won only eight after facing national baseball contenders like Yale and No. 11 East Carolina universities. Players said the team needs to work on maintaining momentum and their confidence to bounce back when their opponent’s offense heats up.

“We’ve kind of been punched in the mouth a little bit in the first half of the year, and we seem to just keep going at it,” junior right-handed pitcher Chris Kahler said in an interview. “This team doesn’t seem to have any quit in it, and a lot of guys just want to keep going, keep pushing.”

Through the first dozen games of the 2023 season, GW recorded an 8.04 earned run average and 4.07 walks per game. In this stretch, the Colonials have batted 174 runs with a .433 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .367.

Last season the Colonials held a 22-30 overall record where they fell short of qualifying for the A-10 Championships, marking the fifth-consecutive year the team did not make playoffs. GW recorded a .413 slugging percentage and an overall 5.50 ERA, showcasing a struggling pitching staff that hit a seven-game losing streak toward the end of their slate.

A revamped roster with 18 new players has left the Colonials in a transitional period where Kahler said the team is still getting used to playing together but hopes to stay on course for the A-10 slate. He said the games in the preseason slate helped the team’s pitching staff figure out where the bullpen needs to be cleaned up and what’s working for the regular season.

“As a group, we’re all individually working on certain things and doing things as a team, and obviously last year we weren’t where we want to be and this year, we’re improving the direction we want to be,” Kahler said. “So just stay in the course and keep gelling as a group, keep playing our best ball, working our tails off and whatnot.”

After their game against James Madison University, graduate student catcher Anthony Frechette said the team has been able to point out negatives in their defensive performance in the final innings. He said the team needs to continue working on solidifying a starting pitcher to put themselves in a good position to win the game early on as it alleviates pressure from the offense.

“For most of the game, really just takes a lot of pressure off your offense just to play free and keep having the right approach every at bat,” Frechette said. “And we know that the guy on the mound for us has our back and we can just play together as an offense keep our chain together as we talked about and put together a good performance offensively when we know our guy on the mound is putting on his best.”

Frechette said this preseason saw the team play at their worst, but as they enter A-10 play, they have started to hit their stride due to their confidence build that has helped them expect every outcome. He said the team looks to build off their individual talent to finalize the cohesiveness of the team as they enter A-10 play.

“I think we’re in a really good spot right now,” Frechette said. “I think we are in a really good spot to take advantage of the teams that we’re gonna play. I think everyone in the locker room thinks the same.”

Senior utility player Steve DiTomaso said the team’s strength is their team culture and the potential they have as a team with a consolidated pitching staff that allows their offensive play to be “very free” to score more runs without worrying about the other team overcoming their defense.

DiTomaso has been a crucial player for the team, averaging a .329 batting average with over 70 hits and 42 runs. He led GW in hits and was ranked 10th in the A-10 during 2022. This season, DiTomaso is averaging a .305 batting average with 18 runs and 39 hits, leading in steals with four stolen bases.

DiTomaso said people from the outside might take a look at their record, how they played some games at the Tucker Field at Barcroft Park and cast a negative view on the team, but inside the locker room, the team sees potential and talent.

“Baseball is awesome, like so much fun,” DiTomaso said. “What could beat a sunny day at the baseball field? The Tuck, watching some good baseball. I mean, I don’t think enough students take advantage of having a baseball team right in D.C.”

 

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet