Baseball Captures A-10 Championship over No. 19 Richmond, 6-4
May 25, 2002
RICHMOND, VA - A two-run home run by Jake Wald (Alexandria, VA/T.C. Williams) in the bottom of the eighth powered the Colonials (42-21) to the Atlantic 10 Championship title with a 6-4 win in the final game against the No. 19 University of Richmond Spiders in the best-of-three Championship Round of the Verizon Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship Saturday afternoon at Richmond's Pitt Field. It was GW's first A-10 baseball title since 1992 and earned them an automatic bid to the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
In the bottom of the first, Richmond starter Mike McGirr loaded the bases, walking seniors Matt Krimmel (Schnecksville, PA/Parkland) and Mike Bassett (Paramus, NJ/Paramus) and then hitting sophomore Jeff Fertitta (Baltimore, MD/Loyola Blakefield) with a pitch. Freshman Joe Michalski (Ellicott City, MD/Mt. Hebron) reached first on an error by shortstop Matt Craig, allowing Krimmel to score the first run of the game. The Colonials added another run with two outs in the bottom of the second on Wald's single to drive in senior Tony Brown (Hockessin, DE/A.I. DuPont), who had reached on a fielder's choice.
Richmond (49-10) responded in the top of the third with two runs to tie the game. Bryan Pritz doubled along the leftfield line, advanced on David Reaver's single and scored on a throwing error by GW starter Dennis Gramolini (Wakefield, MA/Reading Memorial). Adam Tidball then drove in Reaver with a single to centerfield. The Spiders managed to add two more to pull ahead 4-2 on the top of the fourth. Pritz, the first batter to face Colonials' reliever Dan Sullivan (Stony Point, NY/North Rockland), doubled along the leftfield line to score A.J. Board, who had singled. Reaver followed with an RBI double of his own along the leftfield line to score Pritz.
The game turned in the bottom of the seventh on an exciting blast off Bassett's bat to straight-away centerfield to tie the game at four. Bassett's 19th homer of the season drove in Krimmel who was on first after being walked. Wald then gave GW a two-run lead in the bottom of the eighth on his 12th round-tripper of the season to right centerfield, driving in Crowder.
The Colonials were the designated home team decided by a coin flip following Friday's game.
Colonials' senior reliever Mike O'Connor (Ellicott City, MD/Mt. St. Joseph's) earned the win after pitching three scoreless innings. Richmond reliever Jason Bolinski is now 3-3 after pitching two innings and allowing two hits and two runs.
Five Colonials made the All-Championship Team. They were Bassett, Fertitta, Michalski, Wald, and Justin Orenduff. Bassett was named the Most Outstanding Player.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Show will air Monday, May 27th on ESPN2 at 12:30 p.m. EST.