Baseball Moves Into A Tie For Fifth Place In The Atlantic 10 With A 7-3 Victory Over Temple
May 7, 2003
ARLINGTON, VA -- The Colonials scored five runs against Temple in the first inning and never looked back running away with a 7-3 win. The Colonials three-game sweep of the Owls came early when rain caused the nightcap of Wednesday's doubleheader to be halted in the middle of the seventh inning. After a delay of an hour and a half, the umpires called the game and GW emerged in a tie with Xavier for fifth place in the Atlantic 10. The Colonials need just one win against Dayton this weekend to clinch a place in the conference tournament.
This is the Colonials first sweep of Temple in school history. The two teams have played since 1986 and GW has now won 10 games in the all-time series compared to Temples 19. The two teams were originally scheduled to play at the end of March but rain intervened canceling the series and resulting in this week's makeup games. In the second game of the double header, which was slated to go nine innings, rain played a role again. This time the rain held off until the game had reached the seventh inning. After the Owls went down one, two, three in the top of the seventh, the umpires ordered the mandatory half an hour delay after lightning was seen. After waiting an hour and a half, the game was finally called with GW the 7-3 victors.
Temple scored two runs in the top of the first inning when first baseman Rob Cucuinotta hit a two-run home run. The blast two left was his 31st career homer and sets a new Temple career mark. Colonials pitcher Josh Wilkie would give up another run in the second inning when he gave up consecutive doubles to Jason Conner and Pete Colon. Wilkie would role the rest of the way retiring 16 of the next 17 Owls. He gave up three runs on only six hits, walking one and striking out seven. Wilkie improves his season record to 6-2 and has an impressive 64 strikeouts over 57.2 innings pitched. The freshman is averaging 9.99 strikeouts per game in 14 appearances which is the best among Colonials starters.
The Colonials answered Temple's early runs by scoring five in the bottom of the first inning. GW had three singles advancing to second on the throw each time. Temple starter Brian Ursone walked the first three batters each of whome scored. He would last only one third of an inning before Chris Kurtz entered the game. With the bases loaded, Ryan Roberson hit a two-run single advancing to tie the game. Roberson who advanced to second on the throw has been an RBI machine for GW this season. He now has a conference-high 60 RBI and 100 total bases. Roberson is also getting national recognition and started the week at 12 on the NCAA list of RBI leaders with 1.30 per game. Roberson is hitting an unbelievable .728 (10-13) with the bases loaded. Even more impressive is his .821 (23-28) mark with a runner at third and less than two outs. He also has six sacrifice flies in this situation.
Jeff Fertitta also singled and collected two RBI in the first. The junior hit his fourth home run in the first game of the doubleheader. Geoff Milsom completed the Colonials' scoring in the first inning knocking in Fertitta on a single to rightfield. GW's bats were quite until the sixth inning when they hit four consecutive singles. After Brad Rosenblat singled through the leftside, Milsom scored him with a single to center. Tom Shanley collected his first hit in two days followed by Travis Crowder's RBI single which scored Milsom. Crowder who scored in the first inning is only three runs, he has 183, from tying his mentor Ryan Dacey on for third on the all-time list. The senior's former roomates, Mike Bassett and Matt Krimmel hold down the top two slots for all-time runs at GW. Crowder is now tied for seventh in career walks and is seventh all-time in hits with 203. Fellow senior Chris Barry moved into 10th place all-time in runs with 144 when he scored in the first inning.
With this week's sweep of Temple, the Colonials have positioned themselves well down the stretch. GW will conclude the regular season by hosting three-games against Dayton (3-18 in the Atlantic 10). GW needs to win one game to clinch a spot in the conference tournament in Norwich, CT. With a victory over Dayton, the Colonials would eliminate Temple, St. Bonaventure and St. Joseph's from the conference tournament. GW is in a tie with Xavier for fifth overall in the A-10. Xavier who swept GW in mid-April holds the tie-breaker. This weekend's games against Dayton start at noon with a doubleheader on Saturday and Senior Day on Sunday at Barcroft Park in Arlington, VA.