Baseball Survives Late Scare, Downs Fordham, 9-6
April 12, 2008
BRONX, NY - After scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth, Fordham had the winning run at the plate with the bases loaded, but George Washington closer Jimmy Duggan (Jefferson, MD/St. John's Prospect Hall) was able to end the threat with when he got Eric Reese swinging to end the game and preserve the Colonials win, 9-6. The GW (17-16, 6-5 A-10) victory ended a season-high five-game losing streak as they evened their three-game Atlantic 10 Conference series with the Rams (17-15, 4-7 A-10) at Houlihan Park in Bronx, NY.
Freshman RHP Eric Cantrell (Oakton, VA/Oakton) continued to pitch strongly away from Barcroft Park this season, as he allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out four to improve to 4-3 this season. Three of those wins have come away from the Colonials' home field. Cantrell retired the first nine batters he faced, in order. Jimmy Duggan picked up his fifth save of the season.
The first three hitters in GW's lineup led the way offensively for the Colonials Saturday afternoon, as Tom Zebroski (Port Washington, NY/Paul Schreiber), Andrew Abokhair (Ashburn, VA/Broad Run) and Charlie Kruer (Old Bridge, NJ/Old Bridge) combined to hit 5-for-9 with a home run, two doubles, seven runs scored and four RBI. Abokhair reached base all five times he was up, with one single and four walks, and scored four runs.
GW took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, ending an 18-inning scoreless streak that stretched back to the opening frame at William & Mary, Wednesday night. Senior C Andrew Abokhair drew a walk and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Senior OF Charlie Kruer followed with an RBI-single ripped into left field, scoring Abokhair for the game's first run.
The Colonials added to their lead in the third, when Andrew Abokhair hit a line-drive, two-run home run to left field, making it 3-0 in favor of GW. It was Abokhair's second homer of the season. Fordham pieced together a run in their half of the fourth, scoring a on an RBI-groundout hit by Eric Reese, making it 3-1.
GW responded with three more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Sophomore IF Tom Zebroski led-off with a double driven into right-center, and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Abokhair walked to put runners on the corners with no outs. Charlie Kruer followed and hit a weak groundball along the right side. Fordham's first baseman, Bobby DiNardo, threw the ball home and forced Zebroski into a rundown, but the catcher's throw to third sailed into left field, allowing the GW infielder to score. The error put runners on second and third for Sean Rockey (Sammamish, WA/Eastlake/Columbia Basin CC), who laid down a perfect sac-bunt to the pitcher, allowing Abokhair to come home. It was Rockey's first appearance since injuring himself at the upset of No. 15 Virginia, on Mar. 26, a span of 11 games.
Freshman Brendon Kelliher (Sandwich, MA/Sandwich) capped the GW scoring in the fifth frame with a single up the middle that sneaked under the pitcher's glove and scored Kruer from third, making it 6-1 in favor of the Colonials.
The Rams added a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning with two RBI-doubles in the frame, whittling down the GW lead, 6-3.
In the top of the seventh, GW pushed across another run. Abokhair led-off the frame with a walk, his third of the game, moved over to second on a wild pitch and then scored his fourth run of the game on Brendon Kelliher's single into left-center, just out of the reach of the leaping shortstop, making it 7-3 in favor of the visiting Colonials.
GW continued their scoring with another run in the top of the eighth. Chris Marsicano (Old Tappan, NJ/Bergen Catholic) doubled to the gap in left-center. Two batters later, Tom Zebroski doubled to the wall in right field, scoring Matt Boyd (Rockville, MD/Magruder), who had replaced Marsicano as a pinch-runner, and giving GW an 8-3 lead.
Fordham's Eric Reese hit a solo home run (2) to right field to cut into GW's lead, 8-4, in the bottom of the eighth. In the ninth, GW added their ninth and final run. Bryan Hwang (Northvale, NJ/Northern Valley Regional at Old Tappan) singled to lead-off the frame, stole second and then scored when Doug Eizen (Philadelphia, PA/The Haverford School) singled through the left side.
The Rams made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, plating a pair of runs and loading the bases, all with two outs, before Jimmy Duggan slammed the door shut. The Colonials improved to a perfect 16-0 when leading after eight innings.
Fordham starter Peter Kennelly surrendered seven runs, six earned, on seven hits along with five walks in 6.2 innings pitched and fell to 1-1.
George Washington and Fordham conclude their A-10 series with the rubber-game Sunday, at 1:00 p.m.