Baseball Downs Massachusetts Behind Pitching of Chris Neary
April 4, 2008
ARLINGTON, VA - Junior pitcher Chris Neary (Phoenix, AZ/Sunnyslope/Scottsdale CC) allowed just one hit in eight shutout innings to lead George Washington to a 5-0 win over Massachusetts in the opener of a three-game Atlantic 10 Conference series played at Barcroft Park Friday afternoon. The win marked the first time GW has shutout an opponent since they blanked Duquesne, 6-0, May 18, 2006. It was their first home shutout since May 14, 2005, when they beat La Salle, 1-0.
GW (16-11, 5-2 A-10) is now 7-2 in their last nine games overall. Including the end of last season, the Colonials are now 10-2 in their past 12 A-10 Conference games. UMass (6-11, 1-6) dropped to 0-8 on the road this season.
Neary, a transfer from Scottsdale Community College (AZ), in his first season with the Colonials, faced 25 batters and allowed only two of them reached base. He took care of the first six batters of the game in order, before allowing a leadoff walk to Garrett Glashoff to start the third inning. Glashoff, the Minutemen's left fielder, advanced to third on a sac-bunt and a ground out, but Neary then got a fly-out to end the inning. Glashoff was the only Minuteman to go so far as second base until the top of the ninth inning.
Following that walk, the only base-on-balls issued by Neary all day, the lefthander retired the next 13 batters he faced. With one out in the top of the seventh, Brian Baudinet hit a slow-roller between third and short that he was able to beat out for an infield single, breaking-up the no-hitter. Neary quickly erased that one blemish, though, when he caught Baudient in a rundown as he tried to steal second. An infield pop-up ended the inning. In the eighth, Neary made quick work of the UMass batters, and set down the side in order with three groundouts to second base.
The GW second baseman, Bryan Hwang (Northvale, NJ/Northern Valley Regional at Old Tappan) had a career day in the field, as he recorded 10 assists, falling just four shy of the NCAA record (Kevin Polcovich, 1991). The Colonials are now 3-0 in games that Hwang starts at second base.
In the top of the ninth, Neary gave way to junior Jimmy Duggan (Jefferson, MD/St. John's Prospect Hall), who allowed the first two batters to reach before inducing a groundball double play and then ended the game with a strikeout. Neary, who earned his first win at GW to improve to 1-3, finished his day with two strikeouts and lowered his season ERA by more than two runs.
Offensively, GW was held in check for the first half of the game by UMass starter Mitchell Clegg, who pitched the complete game and struck out five while giving up seven hits. Clegg held the Colonials to just three hits through the first five innings, but eventually, GW, the third-highest scoring team in the A-10, began to hit.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, with runners on second and third and two outs, senior catcher Andrew Abokhair (Ashburn, VA/Broad Run) laced a double down the right-field line to score both runs and give GW the 2-0 lead.
In the eighth, GW went up 5-0 and seized the game with a three-run home run deep to right-center, off the bat of junior Tim Reeves (Cumming, GA/North Forsyth). It was Reeves' fourth homer of the season and second in as many games. Reeves also extended his career-best hit-streak to 12 games. The first baseman is hitting .383 (18-for-47) and slugging .596 with two home runs, four doubles and 16 RBI during that 12-game span.
Abokhair finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Gavin Swanson (Reisterstown, MD/Calvert Hall College HS) added a pair of singles.
George Washington and Massachusetts, now tied in their all-time series with 14 wins each, continue their three-game A-10 series Saturday, at 1:00 p.m.