Baseball Upsets No. 15 Virginia, 17-5
Colonials Defeat Cavaliers for the First Time in 20 Years
March 26, 2008
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - George Washington baseball (12-9) pounded out 18 hits as they rallied from a 5-1 deficit and scored 16 unanswered runs to upset No. 15 Virginia (20-5) by a final score of 17-5 Wednesday evening at Davenport Field, earning their first win over the Cavaliers since 1988. The Colonials improved their all-time mark against UVa to 5-9 as they picked up their first win in Charlottesville since 1986.
For Virginia, ranked 19th in the Baseball America poll and 15th in both the NCBWA and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls, the loss snapped a school-record 18-game home winning streak.
After falling behind 5-1 in the first inning, GW rallied to score 16 unanswered runs during the final eight innings, including four in the fourth and eight more in the eighth. Following the first inning, Colonial pitching shutout the Cavs and held them to just three hits the rest of the way. The combination of senior Brian Frazier (Allentown, NJ/Emmaus), redshirt sophomore Justin Dignelli (Katonah, NY/The Hackley School) and sophomore Chris Davis (Richmond, BC/Burnett Secondary) combined to pitch nine shutout innings as they surrendered just four hits and struck out five. Frazier (1-0) picked up the win in just his second appearance this season.
The 17 runs are the most GW has scored against Virginia in their series history.
The Colonials scored first in Wednesday's game, plating a run in the top of the first. Sophomore Sean Rockey (Sammamish, WA/Eastlake/Columbia Basin CC) led off with a single through the right side, advanced to second on a groundout and then scored when senior Charlie Kruer (Old Bridge, NJ/Old Bridge) singled up the middle, making it 1-0.
GW's slim lead quickly evaporated in the bottom of the frame, however, as the Cavaliers scored five runs and chased starter Ryan Lapointe (Somersworth, NH/Phillips Exeter Academy) from the game before he could record an out. In all, Virginia sent nine batters to the plate and tallied five hits in the inning.
Sean Rockey managed to score another run in the top of the third, to cut into the Cavaliers lead. The shortstop led off with a single to centerfield, moved over to second on a walk, advanced to third on a fly-out and then hustled home on a wild pitch, making it 5-2 in favor of UVa.
As the Virginia offense struggled to score runs, held in check by pitcher Brian Frazier, GW had no such trouble, tallying four runs in the top of the fourth inning to reclaim the lead. After Tim Reeves (Cumming, GA/North Forsyth) led off with a single, freshman Brendon Kelliher (Sandwich, MA/Sandwich) crushed a 0-1 pitch deep into the trees beyond the fence in left-center for his first collegiate home run. Four batters later, with runners on second and third and two outs, Charlie Kruer delivered yet again, singling up the middle to drive in both the tying and go-ahead runs and give the Colonials a 6-5 advantage.
GW extended the lead in their half of the fifth inning, scoring another two runs. Senior catcher Andrew Abokhair (Ashburn, VA/Broad Run) led off with a single, making it five consecutive innings that the Colonials started a frame with a base hit. Reeves followed with a single, putting runners on first and second. After a Virginia pitching change, redshirt junior Gavin Swanson (Reisterstown, MD/Calvert Hall College HS) drove a double deep into the gap in right-center that drove in both runners and gave GW the 8-5 lead.
In the top of the eighth, the Colonials exploded for eight runs to put the game out of reach. With one out, Matt Boyd (Rockville, MD/Magruder) doubled down the leftfield line. Sean Rockey followed with a single through the right side that plated Boyd. The throw from the leftfielder was offline, allowing Rockey to take third. A pair of consecutive walks, including an intentional pass to Kruer, loaded the bases with one out. UVa brought in a new pitcher, Jake Rule, who notched the quick strikeout but then hit two batters to drive in two runs. A single off the bat of Chris Holland (Pasadena, MD/Chesapeake) scored another two runs. The scoring in the eighth was capped when Gavin Swanson, the 10th batter of the inning, hit a line-drive, two-run home run into the bleachers in left field. In the past two games, Swason has three home runs and nine RBI.
Chris Marsicano (Old Tappan, NJ/Bergen Catholic) drove in GW"s 17th and final run with a pinch-hit, RBI-single in the top of the ninth.
Sean Rockey, Charlie Kruer and Tim Reeves all finished with three hits, while Tom Zebroski (Port Washington, NY/Paul Schreiber) went 2-for-4 and scored three runs. Swanson and Kruer combined for seven RBI.
George Washington travels to Richmond (11-12-1, 3-0 A-10) this weekend for a three-game, Atlantic 10 Conference series, beginning Friday, Mar. 28, at 3:00 p.m.