George Washington Baseball Signs With Wilson And DeMarini
Feb. 10, 2004
WASHINGTON, DC - George Washington University Baseball has signed with Wilson Sporting Goods Co. and DeMarini Sports for 2004. In the agreement reached between Wilson, DeMarini and Colonials Head Coach Tom Walter, George Washington will use Wilson gear and exclusively swing DeMarini bats for the 2004 season.
Under the leadership of Coach Walter, the 2003 Colonials posted a 37-18 (.673) record for the team's best winning percentage since 1986 and the 32nd-best percentage in the NCAA last year. George Washington finished the year fourth in the Atlantic 10 West and fourth in the A-10 Tournament after going 2-2 in the postseason. It was the fourth consecutive year that GW made the conference tournament the longest streak in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
GW opened the season with an impressive 15-4 record, their best start since 1957 when the team went 19-4. Three of the team's four early losses in 2003 were at No. 1 Georgia Tech. The Colonials also strung together two 11-game winning streaks, each tied for the fifth-longest streak in GW baseball history. It also marked the first time that the Colonials have had two winning streaks of 10, or more, games in a single season.
"DeMarini won't settle for the best, and neither will we," says Coach Walter. "They always try to improve their bats, and we always want to get more competitive. We fit together like a hand in a glove."
"It makes us very proud that George Washington has partnered with us," says Jim Hackett, Business Director for Wilson Baseball and Softball. "Our bats have performed at the highest level of collegiate baseball, and the word is spreading about what has been accomplished by teams using our Half & Half bats."
Under the agreement, George Washington University will hit exclusively with DeMarini bats including the new Vexxum -3 Long Barrel. Known among players as "the bat that bends," the Vexxum is the first bat to combine a composite handle with an aluminum alloy barrel. Virtually indestructible, the Vexxum's Half & Half system flexes and recoils with a burst of ball-launching energy. The Vexxum's two-piece construction also redistributes weight for optimal balance, allowing players to swing faster with less energy. In the comfort zone, the Vexxum's vibration-taming end cap works with the bat's hybrid construction to absorb the energy that causes bat sting.
The Colonials will also choose from Wilson's 2004 lineup of Pro-Stock? ball gloves, including models from the A2000® and A3000? series; uniforms; batting gloves; and other baseball accessories.
Established in 1989, DeMarini Sports took the bat industry by storm with the world's first high-tech softball bat. Acquired by Wilson Sporting Goods in 2000, DeMarini continues to research, design and build high-performance softball and baseball bats in its state-of-the-art Hillsboro, Oregon facility.
Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Company, a division of Amer Sports, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of sports equipment. The company designs, manufactures and distributes advanced equipment that helps players improve their performance. Wilson's core categories include Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Bats, Volleyball, Soccer, Youth Sports, Uniforms/Apparel, Golf, Footwear, and Racquet Sports (Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Badminton and Platform Tennis).
In addition to their 32nd-best winning percentage in the NCAA, GW was in the Top 100 (out of 284 Division I baseball programs) in seven other categories. GW was 39th in runs per game (7.4), 57th in slugging percentage (.465), 58th in home runs per game (.98), 70th in ERA (4.35), 70th in doubles per game (2.04) 78th in stolen bases per game (1.38) and 87th in batting average (.301).
Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, Tom Shanley had a 15-game hitting streak to start his collegiate career while hitting .398 as a freshman. Shanley was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year as well as Second Team All-Conference at shortstop and ECAC Second-Team All-Star. Shanley's batting average ranked 43rd in the NCAA. Fellow freshman Josh Wilkie pitched his way onto the national list by throwing an average of 10.0 strikeouts per game, good for 40th in the country. Southpaw freshman Pfau currently has the best winning percentage (1.000) in GW's record books after going 6-0 as a rookie.
Travis Crowder was named First Team All-Conference as a second baseman while Ryan Roberson was named First Team All-Conference as the designated hitter. Roberson finished the year 14th in the country with 1.28 RBIs per game and 78th in the country with a .383 batting average. Roberson also was named to the A-10 All-Championship Team along with pitcher Dan Sullivan who pitched a two-hit complete game in the postseason opener. Sullivan's ERA of 2.96 was the 98th best in the NCAA last season.
Despite a fourth-place finish, the Colonials collected more A-10 Weekly Awards than any other conference school. Eight GW players earned 12 such citations, including seven Rookie of the Week awards.
The 2003 team MVP, Greg Conden, became the winningest pitcher in Colonials history with 35 victories capping a stellar career at GW. The four-year starter sits atop GW's all-time starts list with 61 and is sixth in appearances with 63. Conden had a 35-16 (.686) record for the Colonials and collected 276 strikeouts. In June 2003, Conden was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 18th round. The righthander had a 4-3 record with the lowest ERA, 3.94, among the starters for the Rookie League Idaho Falls Padres. Conden led his team with 80 innings pitched and had 96 strikeouts, 31 more than anyone else on the team. Conden becomes the seventh Colonials player drafted in the last two years. Highlighting the record-setting draft class of 2002, Jake Wald will be a non-roster invitee to the San Francisco Giants spring training camp in 2004.