Baseball Splits Doubleheader with Saint Joseph's as Teams Open A-10 Play
March 21, 2008
ARLINGTON, VA - George Washington baseball defeated Saint Joseph's, 12-7, in the series' opener, but fell in the nightcap, 10-8, as the teams opened Atlantic 10 Conference action with a split doubleheader Friday afternoon at Barcoft Park in Arlington, VA. GW (9-9, 1-1 A-10) ran their all-time mark against Saint Joseph's (8-11, 1-1 A-10) to 22-9. Last season, the Colonials swept the Hawks in three games in Philadelphia, PA.
The Colonials excelled offensively, as they totaled 20 runs on 25 hits in the two games, including five doubles and 18 RBI. They also had an on-base percentage of .490 on the day. However, the GW starting pitching struggled. Game one starter, junior Chris Neary (Phoenix, AZ/Sunnyslope/Scottsdale CC), and the starter in game two, sophomore Ryan Lapointe (Somersworth, NH/Phillips Exeter Academy), allowed a combined 15 runs, 12 earned, and 13 hits in just 8.1 innings pitched. Neary struck out eight batters and walked six in his effort, while LaPointe got one punch-out and was saddled with the loss in the second game. In 9.2 innings of work, the GW bullpen was strong, holding the Hawks to seven hits and just one earned run while picking up seven strikeouts.
Offensively, GW was led by senior OF Charlie Kruer (Old Bridge, NJ/Old Bridge) who went 6-for-10 with three doubles, four runs and five RBI in the two games.
In Friday's first game, GW jumped out to an early lead that they never relinquished. The Colonials scored three runs in the first on five singles, including RBI-hits from Kruer, Tim Reeves (Cumming, GA/North Forsyth) and Doug Eizen (Philadelphia, PA/The Haverford School). In the second, GW added another two runs when Kruer ripped a double down the right field line to score both Matt Boyd (Rockville, MD/Magruder) and Sean Rockey (Sammamish, WA/Eastlake/Columbia Basin CC), who had each reached on singles, and make it 5-0 in favor of the home team.
The Hawks plated three of their own runs in the third, highlighted by a two-run home run from David Valesente, and then added two more in the fourth to tie the game at five. That draw was short-lived, though, as GW scored four more in the bottom of the frame, and then another three in the fifth. In the two innings, the Colonials sent 18 batters to the plate, scored seven total runs, tallied seven hits and took advantage of two walks, three hit batters and a Saint Joseph's error. The Hawks pushed across two in the top of the fifth, but would never get closer, as GW cruised to the 12- 7 win.
Junior Pat Lehman (Fair Lawn, NJ/Fair Lawn) picked up the win with a strong effort in relief, working 4.2 shutout innings in which he allowed just two hits and struck out three to improve his mark to 3-0. Kruer, Rockey and Eizen each finished with three hits as all nine position starters had at least one hit. Kruer led the way with four RBI, to go along with Eizen's three. Randy Mower (2-2) took the loss for the Hawks.
In game two, Saint Joseph's took a 4-1 lead in the top of the second and managed to stave off every GW comeback attempt as they held on to win, 10-8. The Colonials first began to fight back in the bottom of the second, when Andrew Haberern (Emmaus, PA/Emmaus/Trinity College) laced an opposite-field home run just over the top of the fence in right field, his first of the season and second of his career. The Hawks answered with two more in the third and another two in the fifth, stretching their lead to 8-2 before the Colonials again mounted a comeback.
GW pushed across two in the fifth and then two more in the sixth, the latter of which scored on a double off the bat of Will Cooper (McLean, VA/Gonzaga College HS) to cut the lead to 8-6. The Colonials would get as close as 8-7, but then the Hawks put the game away with a two-run double in the top of the eighth.
Kruer had another three hits in the second game, with an RBI. Cooper finished 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBI. LaPointe (2-1) took the loss while Justin Trudell (1-4) picked up the win and Chris Prescott earned his first save of the season.
GW fell to 0-8 in games when they trail after four innings, and oddly enough, are now 0-6 when they hit just one home run in a game.
George Washington and Saint Joseph's complete their three game series tomorrow, Mar. 22, at Nationals Park in Washington, DC, at 1:05 p.m. The game, the first ever at MLB's newest stadium, is privately ticketed and not open to the public.