Colonials Collapse In Eighth In Close Contest With JMU To Lose, 5-2
Baseball In Position To Win Before Allowing Four Runs In The Eighth
March 3, 2004
HARRISONBURG, VA - The Colonials (3-7) dropped a doozey to the Dukes giving up four runs in the eighth inning to lose 5-2. GW could not hold a 2-1 lead late in the game as JMU (8-3) capitalized on the Colonials collapse. Geoff Milsom went two-for-three and hit his fourth double of the year. Josh Wilkie pitched 7.1 allowing only two runs on six hits for GW. The Colonials return home this weekend.
After taking a lead in the top of the sixth and seventh GW gave away the game in the bottom of the eighth when the Dukes scored four runs, three of which were earned. After retiring the first batter of the eighth, GW's starter Wilkie allowed a single to right field and was promptly pulled. Avi Rasowsky faced Michael Cowgill and gave up a run-scoring double down the left field line to tie the game at two. After pitching well to Mike Butia, Rasowsky was slow to cover first on a routine grounder to the first baseman. The game then slipped away when Nate Schill hit a triple to left centerfield and scored on a throwing error from the shortstop who tried to throw him out at third base. Wilkie had previously held a strong-hitting JMU team to just two runs on six hits in 7.1 innings of work. After walking the first two Dukes batters the sophomore settled down and picked up three strikeouts in his third start.
The Colonials opened the scoring in the top of the sixth after an early pitchers duel when sophomore Matt Owens crossed the plate. Owens snapped out of a slump with a bunt single to second to leadoff the effort. Shanley moved him to third on a single, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Raglani then hit a shallow fly to the left fielder who dropped the ball and Owens scored on the error. The Dukes' Brandon Bowser led off the bottom of the sixth by hammering a ball off of the left center field fence. After Bowser moved to third on a fly-out to center, Mike Butia scored him on a sacrifice fly to center field for his 19th RBI of the year. Wilkie then gave up a double to left center field before throwing his third strikeout to end the Dukes threat.
The Colonials answered the call to regain the lead in the seventh when Jeff Fertitta hit a stand-up double to left field and scored the go-ahead run on Milsom's second hit of the game. Milsom singled to centerfield and alertly kept running to take second when the center fielder tried to throw home. Earlier, Milsom hit his fourth double of the season in the top of the third pulling a ball down the left field line. Milsom has made marked improvement with his bat this year and has matched his doubles total of last year through just the first 10 games of this season in addition to raising his batting average .183 points over last years total so far this year.
The Colonials defense made some big plays again today with two diving stops on the left side by first by first baseman Anthony Smith and then by right fielder Brad Rosenblat who made the grab to end the inning. Rosenblat then ended the bottom of the fourth with a fantastic throw from the right field line on a Dukes single from Matt Sluder. Rosenblat fielded the ball on a bounce, spun and threw a one-hop strike to shortstop Milsom for the tag at second. Wilkie retired the side in order in the top of the fifth on just nine pitches on three ground outs to keep the game scoreless.