GW Baseball Walks Off With Series Opener Over VCU, 1-0
Murakami's Single in Ninth Gives Colonials 11th Conference Win
May 10, 2013
ARLINGTON, Va. - Senior Matthew Murakami knocked in the game-winning run on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the George Washington baseball team to a series-opening 1-0 victory over VCU on Friday afternoon at Barcroft Park.
GW (21-29, 11-8 A-10) got an outstanding effort from its pitching staff, which combined to hold VCU (24-24, 8-11 A-10) to zero runs on eight hits as the Colonials won their fifth straight game. The Rams entered the game averaging over four runs per contest.
Junior Luke Staub got the start on the mound and pitched 6.1 shutout innings. He allowed five hits with two walks and one strikeout. In his past three starts, Staub has yielded just three earned runs and sports a 1.29 ERA in his last 21 innings.
The Colonials had an opportunity to score in the second inning with runners on second and third and one out, but a double play on a squeeze attempt ended the threat.
The Rams threatened in the sixth inning with a one-out double, but Staub induced a ground out and foul out to escape the jam.
VCU had an opportunity to break the tie in the seventh inning but GW's bullpen combined to thwart the threat. Staub yielded consecutive one-out singles to open the inning and an error in left field put the runners on second and third.
Senior Kenny O'Brien entered the game out of the bullpen and struck out the only batter he faced for the second out. Freshman Bobby LeWarne then relieved O'Brien and gave up a walk before recording the final out on a fielder's choice ground out.
VCU continued to apply pressure in the eighth inning. A leadoff double and sacrifice bunt put the go-ahead run on third base with one out. The Rams then attempted a squeeze bunt to plate the run, but a heads up play by LeWarne, in which he flipped the ball with his glove to catcher Xavier Parkmond for the play at the plate, ended the threat. LeWarne got the final out of the inning via a ground out.
The winning sequence started in the bottom of the ninth inning on a leadoff infield single from junior Owen Beightol before VCU starter Heath Dwyer was lifted from the game. Senior Tyler McCarthy then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Beightol to second base. VCU elected to intentionally walk freshman Eric Kalman and senior Derek Brown followed with an infield single off of the pitcher's glove to load the bases for Murakami.
After a first-pitch strike, Murakami chopped a ground ball through the left side of the infield to drive in Beightol and send the Colonials to the 1-0 victory.
Junior Craig LeJeune earned the win for the Colonials after recording the final out in the top of the ninth inning. Dwyer, the Atlantic 10 leader in strikeouts, did not register a punch out and was tagged with the loss.
Kalman and Murakami each finished with two hits apiece to lead the offense while Albright extended his reached-base streak to 16 games after going 1-for-4 at the plate.
GW and VCU play Game Two of this three-game series on Saturday afternoon at Barcroft Park. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.