Baseball Beats Temple, 6-3 With Fantastic Finish On Joe Michalski's Walkoff Homer
May 6, 2003
ARLINGTON, VA -- Colonials catcher Joe Michalski hit a walkoff three-run home run to lift GW over Temple in a critical A-10 matchup with playoff implications. The game was tied in the final inning when Michalski sent his team-leading 10th home run to deep center field. Colonials' ace and MVP Greg Conden earned his 35th career victory with the 6-3 walkoff win. GW improves to .500 in the A-10 and overtakes Temple for sixth place overall with five games remaining.
The Colonials started the ninth inning with a hit through the left side from senior captain Chris Barry. Barry had three hits on the day and scored twice, including the game winner. The centerfielder moved into a tie for 10th place on the all-time runs list. After the single, Barry who represented the winning run advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jeff Fertitta then advanced him to third on a groundout to the right side. Tony Dokoupil was intentionally walked in hopes of getting Michalski to ground into a double play. Michalski had other plans and planted Matt Powell's 0-1 pitch over the centerfield fence.
Barry had a big day on the bases after singling each time up. Barry stole second twice and has 14 this year's. He moved into a seventh place tie with 50 over his four-year career. Barry almost had the winning run three innings earlier. After singling through the left side in the fourth, Barry stole second. He then hustled to third on the throw to first from Temple's catcher on which Fertitta struck out. Barry then tried to score on a wild pitch to Tony Dokoupil. Temple's catcher Jeff Roma quickly collected the ball and threw to pitcher Powell who was covering home. The ball, Barry and Powell all arrived at the same time and the umpire called Barry out to end the inning.
Temple scored the games first run in the second inning when their catcher Jeff Roma took Greg Conden deep to centerfield. The solo shot was Roma's fifth of the year. Conden and Roma are rivals from their high school playing days and have faced each other several times over the years. The Colonials answered with three of their own runs in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs, Barry singled and stole second. Jeff Fertitta then lined a ball back to the pitcher which hit the heal of his glove and shot into the air. The ball would bounce into leftcenter field after eluding the second baseman. Fertitta's unconventional double was his 10th of the season and scored Barry for GW's first run. Tony Doukoupil scored Fertitta with a double of his own to put the Colonials ahead. After advancing to third on a passed ball Doukoupil scored on Michalski's RBI single through the left side of the infield.
Temple tied it up in the top of the fourth with two runs on three hits. Temple's Rob Cucinotta started the inning with a single followed by John Quigley's double. Al Roach would score Cucinotta on a sacrifice fly and Roma picked up his second second RBI with a single to shortstop Tom Shanley. Shanley made an amazing diving stop but the ball popped out of his glove when he landed and Quigley scored. Shanley who was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week went hitless for the first time in seven games.
Greg Conden would hold Temple scoreless the rest of the way by getting out of two jams with two runners on. He finished the fourth with a fly out with runners on first and second. After walking the first two Owls in the top of the seventh, he retired the next three keeping the game tied at three. Conden allowed only four hits for the game and threw less than 100 pitches over seven innings. The senior ace had seven strikeouts on the day and now has 77 this year and 270 in his career. He is the winningest pitcher in GW history with a 35-15 record in 60 starts. He is sixth all-time with 62 appearances and seventh with 13 complete games.
GW produced all of its hits and runs out of the bottom of the lineup. The first five hitters were a combined 0-for-15 while the last four were 7-for-10. Tony Dokoupil reached base three times and is now 10th all-time with 643 at bats, he is also ninth in games played and hits. The senior needs one hit for 200 on his career. He is on the verge of breaking into the top 10 in walks, needing one, and total bases needing four.
GW beat Temple for only the third time in school history and the club won with a walkoff homer for the third time this year. Temple still leads the all-time series 3-15. GW improves to 8-8 in the A-10 sixth overall and fourth in the A-10 West. Temple who is third in the A-10 East is 9-10 (.474). The two clubs who are battling for the final playoff berth will meet in a decisive doubleheader on Wednesday. Game one is scheduled to start at 2:00 PM at Barcroft Park, in Arlington VA. GW is 15-2 at home this year including 7-0 in the A-10 when hosting conference games.