Baseball Wins Game One 6-4 As Dan Sullivan Gets A Little Help From His Friends In His Seventh Straight Victory
May 8, 2004
ARLINGTON, VA - Dan Sullivan earned his seventh straight A-10 victory with some late offensive help as the Colonials defeated Xavier 6-4 in game one of a doubleheader. Sullivan was assisted by a three-run sixth inning and another strong showing from closer Derrik Lutz. Lutz, a freshman, tied the single season save record by picking up his 10th and moving him into a tie for second all-time at GW.
Sullivan, whose younger sister Alana sang the National Anthem before his start, is now a perfect 7-0 in seven conference starts this season. Sullivan improved his record to 8-3 and helped GW to their 10th straight victory. The Colonials (34-14, 16-3 A-10) were out-hit by Xavier (13-31, 5-11 A-10) but came from behind on three runs, only one of which was earned in the bottom of the sixth inning for the win.
Sullivan threw six innings allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits with five strikeouts and no walks. With the victory, the 14th of his three-year career, Sullivan is in a three-way tie for 10th place in career wins at GW. Sullivan also needs only three more wins to match his former teammate Greg Conden (who was drafted last year by the San Diego Padres) for the single season wins record of 11. Sullivan needs on more start, eight more appearances and 51 more strikeouts to make GW's all-time lists in those categories. His .737 (14-5) winning percentage is eighth all-time at GW.
Derrik Lutz pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save of the season. In almost typical fashion, he struck out two without giving up a walk. The one hit he allowed turned out to be harmless as it occurred with two outs. Lutz has been on a tear of late and leads the Atlantic 10 in saves as well as positioning himself in the top 10 in the NCAA despite being just a freshman. The loss went Bill Koncny who is now 4-10 after Xavier's closer Mike Creevy allowed three runs to score two of which counted against Kocney.
The Colonials scored first with two runs in the first when Matt Owens and Tom Shanley opened the game with back-to-back-singles. Ryan Roberson picked up the first RBI with a groundout to the shortstop and Anthony Smith earned the second with a run-scoring double down the left field line. Roberson was in the top ten in the NCAA in RBI per game last season and Smith, a freshman has taken the torch and is chasing the nation's best RBI producers this season.
In a seesaw battle, Xavier picked up three earned runs in the top of the fourth on two tough infield singles and a home run. With one out, Chris Lozan hit a ball to the left side of the infield for a single. Third baseman Ryan Roberson made a play on the ball but could not fully reach it only batting the ball away from the shortstop who may have had a play. The next batter, Jordan Wolf, grounded a ball to the second baseman which was hit directly at him and then hoped clear over his head when it hit the edge of the grass. Wolf was credited with a single and then advanced to second on an error when the right fielder Brad Rosenblat overran the ball in an effort to throw out Lozan who took third. Jason Morelli earned an RBI when he grounded out for the second out of the inning. First baseman Matt Lucas then drove a ball over the fence in right center field for a two-run homer and a 3-2 Xavier lead in the top of the fourth. The Colonials responded in the bottom half of the inning when Rosenblat tied the score with a solo home run to lead off the inning.
Xavier added another run in the top of the fifth to pull ahead for the second time with a 4-3 lead. Jay Johnson hit a ball to the shortstop Geoff Milsom who committed his 22nd error of the year when he goofed the grounder. The speedy Johnson then took second stealing his 11th base of the season. With two outs, Johnson scored when Brett Smith hit a RBI single down the left field line to put XU ahead.
The Colonials, who have a flair for the dramatic, scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead for good. Smith led off the inning with a walk to put the tying run on base with no outs. Rosenblat, who went two-for-two, then singled through the left side. Geoff Milsom bunted to move the winning and tying run into scoring position but his bunt back to the pitcher was fielded cleanly and thrown to third for a fielder's choice force out. Xavier then went with closer Mike Creevy who struck out Jeff Fertitta for the second out of the game.
Looking for an offensive burst, GW coach Tom Walter pinch hit Bill Simpson for Joe Michalski hoping for a big hit. Simpson, however, walked to load the bases. In what turned into an ingenious coaching call and a game-winning decision, Walter replaced Simpson at first with speedy pinch runner Mickey Shupin. This seemingly insignificant switch swung the momentum and paid of on the very next batter. With GW down 3-4 with two outs and the bases loaded leadoff hitter and center fielder Matt Owens came to the plate. Owens hit a slow roller to the shortstop who fielded the ball and throw to second for the force out. Shupin who ran like his life depended on it slide in safely moments before the ball arrived in a cloud of dust. Owens earned a hit as he would have beaten out a throw at first regardless and earned a clutch RBI in the process.
With the score tied at four, Tom Shanley hit a tricky looper to the second baseman who went back on it but then lost the ball out of his glove which allowed two more Colonials to score on the error from the shortstop. The runners were in motion with two outs but Shanley was not credited with an RBI as the ball should have been caught to end the inning with a tie score. Instead the Colonials capitalized and pulled ahead for a 6-4 victory.