Baseball Beats UMass, 9-4, With Anthony Smith's Grand Slam Home Run
March 28, 2004
ARLINGTON, VA - The Colonials (15-11, 2-1) defeated Massachusetts (6-7, 1-2) 9-4 keyed by Anthony Smith's grand slam home run in the fifth inning. Ryan Roberson hit a solo homer for his team-best eighth of the year to move into GW's top 10 list as a junior. Derrik Lutz pitched four innings for the win.
As they have done all year the Colonials won by way of the long ball when Smith and Roberson hit homers accounting four five of GW's nine runs. All but one Colonial collaborated for 11 team hits edging the Minutemen by a hit. Tom Shanley paced GW's hit parade with three and extended his hitting streak to nine consecutive games. Shanley has a hit in every single game since returning from an injury.
UMass scored first after a leadoff walk to Mike Athas from Colonials starter Dan Pfau. Bill Ranking bunted to advance Athas to second but was safe himself for a single when he beat out the throw. Cullan Maumus then sacrificed himself on a bunt to move the runners to first and third. Frank Curreri answered with a run-scoring single to right field. Dan Pfau who remains a perfect 9-0 at GW was looking for his fourth win of the season but had to leave the game with a knee injury after getting the first out in the third inning.
GW answered in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game at one. Anthony Raglani doubled with two outs and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Ryan Roberson then knocked him in with a single deep in the hole at third base to tie the score. Roberson then hit his eighth home run of the year when he led off the fourth with a solo home run. Roberson's rocket launched him into the record books as his 22 homer is now tied for 10th all-time with former teammate Chris Barry and Greg Patton.
Derrik Lutz entered for the injured Pfau and pitched four innings for his second win of the year. The freshman struck out four and allowed only five hits while walking none. Lutz entered the game in the third with one out and a runner at second and gave up two consecutive hits which scored two in the Minutemen and put UMass up 3-1. Lutz however settled into a groove and did not allow another hit until the sixth inning. In the seventh he gave up two hits after retiring the first batter.
The Colonials bats came alive in the fifth inning when they scored five runs on four hits to pull ahead in the game for good. Joe Michalski led off with a single to center field followed by a single to right from Matt Owens. Tom Shanley then bunted the two over but hustled down the line to beat out the throw from the pitcher for an infield single which extended his hitting streak in unconventional fashion. With the bases loaded Anthony Raglani worked the count full and then walked to force in the Colonials third and game-tying run. By drawing the walk the junior earned his 100th career RBI in an unusual manner. With the bases still juiced, freshman sensation Smith put the Colonials up for good with a grand slam. Smith's seventh home run was hit well over the leftfield fence on a low and outside pitch. Smith extended his arms and the fat of the bat met the meat of the ball for a shot that cleared them all.
In the bottom of the sixth, Shanley delivered a security run on his seventh double of the year when he drove in Brad Rosenblat who had walked to open the inning. Rosenblat started the bottom of the eighth with a single and he was again knocked in by Shanley who got an RBI on his third hit of the game, a single through the left side of the infield.
Avi Rasowsky closed out the game for the Colonials in his team-high 12th appearance leaving him just eight short of GW's all-time list as a junior. Rasowsky gave up a hit and a run which counted against Lutz but then got the next eight players out including a game ending double play which he started with a throw to second. He was just one out shy of earning a save as he effectively closed the door on UMass.
George Washington is on the home stretch of their 14-game home stand. Through the first 12 games the team went 8-4 and they are now 13-4 at Barcroft this season. The team is 2-1 in the Atlantic 10 after winning their opening series against Massachusetts who still leads the all-time series with GW 11-13. The Colonials have two midweek games at Barcroft Park before resuming A-10 play at Fordham next weekend. GW will play Delaware on Tuesday and Coppin State on Wednesday with both games starting at 2:30 pm.