Colonials Drop Season Opener in 13 Innings to Eastern Michigan
Feb. 20, 2009
ROCK HILL, SC - The George Washington University baseball team lost a 5-4 heartbreaker Friday afternoon to Eastern Michigan in the 2009 season opener on the campus of Winthrop University. The Colonials, (0-1) led 4-3 going into the bottom of the 13th, but surrendered a two-run double to Eastern Michigan junior Andrew Marshall with two outs to lose the contest.
Senior Tom Lehman gave the Colonials a very strong start, going seven innings and allowed only three hits and one earned run. The right-hander also struck out eight and didn't walk a batter all afternoon. Juniors Tom Zebroski and Will Cooper each had two hits for the Colonials and junior Ryan Lapointe threw 1 2/3 shutout innings, while relieving Lehman.
The Eagles struck first with a sacrifice fly by Jim Gulliver to stake out to an early 1-0 lead after the first frame. The game turned into a pitcher's duel after the early run as no team scored over the next six innings of play. The Colonials finally broke through against Eagles' starter Sean Hoffman, when Brendon Kelliher led off with a single and moved to second on a ground out by Brandon Gillette. Gavin Swanson walked soon after, and setup Will Cooper, who delivered a two-out RBI single to knot the score at one apiece in the seventh inning.
The teams were still tied at one through nine innings, but Zebroski delivered an RBI single in the 10th to give the Colonials a 2-1 lead in extra innings. The lead was short-lived though as the Eagles matched with a run of their own in the 10th to continue the extra innings and go into an 11th frame.
George Washington once again struck in the frame as two Eastern Michigan errors brought Kelliher around to score and give the Colonials a 3-2 lead. Once again, though, the Eagles matched the run when Gulliver scored after leading off with a triple and forced the game to continue on.
A scoreless 12th inning set up the dramatic 13th inning where the Colonials once again plated a runner home in the extra innings. The Colonials took advantage of two more Eagles errors and saw Gillette score once again to push give the Colonials another one run advantage at 4-3. This setup the two-RBI, two-out double by Marshall, which ended a game for the Colonials in which they had three chances to close out.
Freshman Michael Boyden took the tough loss after pitching the final 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits and striking out three as well. The Colonials return to action Saturday, February 21 against tournament host Winthrop at 12:30 p.m.