The George Washington University: Baseball

GW Baseball Begins Gregg Ritchie Era on Friday at Davidson

Head Coach Gregg Ritchie ('86) leads the GW baseball team into the 2013 season, starting with a three-game series at Davidson this weekend.
 
Head Coach Gregg Ritchie ('86) leads the GW baseball team into the 2013 season, starting with a three-game series at Davidson this weekend.
 

Feb. 13, 2013

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WASHINGTON - A new era of George Washington baseball will commence on Friday evening as the Colonials take the field at Davidson to open a three-game series under new head coach, GW Athletic Hall of Famer and former professional coach Gregg Ritchie ('86).

Ritchie returns to his alma mater following a nearly 30-year career in professional baseball, most recently as the Major League hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

He has assembled an impressive staff that includes Associate Head Coach Tom Sheridan, Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Dave Lorber, Volunteer Assistant Coach Stephanos Stroop and Director of Baseball Operations LaDale Hayes.

The coaching staff is not the only new addition to the GW baseball program. Construction and renovations of Barcroft Park are now complete, making it one of the top collegiate facilities in the region and the Atlantic 10 conference. A Grand Opening celebration will be held on Saturday, March 2, prior to the game against Quinnipiac. Stay tuned for more information.

2013 Team Prospectus


 

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Two newcomers will open the season at the top of the rotation in junior transfer Luke Staub and freshman Danny O'Donnell.

Staub joins the Colonials after competing at Southeastern Iowa Community College where he was named to the All-Region XI Second Team. He pitched to a 13-5 record over two seasons at SICC with a 3.73 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 135 innings.

"Luke has a great work ethic and makeup," said Associate Head Coach Tom Sheridan. "He is one of the hardest workers on the team and has good leadership qualities."

O'Donnell, a decorated local product from St. Johns College High School, was an All-Met selection by the Washington Post, the WCAC Pitcher of the Year and D.C. ESPN Gatorade Player of the Year after going 6-2 with a 0.32 ERA and 43 strikeouts as a senior. He was also a Louisville Slugger All-American Honorable Mention and the lone high school player to compete on the D.C. Grays of the Cal Ripken Baseball League.

"For a freshman, he has a strong presence on the mound. He does not show fear of being in a big situation," said Coach Sheridan.

Veterans Aaron Weisberg and Craig Lejeune round out the rotation and provide veteran leadership to the stable of young pitchers on the roster.

Weisberg led the Colonials with 83.1 innings pitched last year and has totaled four wins and 72 strikeouts over his first two seasons. LeJeune has appeared in 27 games with eight starts in two seasons

"Aaron has great physical tools. We just have to put everything together to have him use his body size to his advantage. I really like LeJeune's stuff," said Coach Sheridan. "He works extremely hard and has some great potential."

Freshman Max Kaplow enters the season as the team's fifth starter after pitching to a 6-4 record with 82 strikeouts as a senior at nearby George Mason High School.

"Max has a presence out there on the mound," explained Coach Sheridan. "He has really come a long way from the fall season to be included in this mix of starting pitchers."

BULLPEN

Freshmen Bobby LeWarne and Jacob Williams anchor the bullpen as the long-relief specialists and can be relied upon for spot starts throughout the season.

LeWarne was a three-time All-Conference selection at Dowling Catholic High School (Iowa). He won six games and posted an ERA of 1.63 with 55 strikeouts during his senior season. Williams joins the Colonials after a successful scholastics career at Sussex Technical High School (Delaware).

The senior trio of Justin Albright, Brian Derner and J.T. Wauford also return and can be looked upon for mid-relief.

Albright, also the Colonials starting second baseman, went 4-1 with one save and a 3.45 ERA in 47.0 innings of relief last season. Wauford proved his worth by emerging as a reliable mid-week starter and long relief man last season. He went 4-4 across 54 innings in 15 games while making nine starts. Derner has tallied six wins and 137 strikeouts in his first three seasons.

Junior Matthew Seedorff, sophomore Sean McCart and freshmen Rob Costello and Luke Olson are also options that can be used in matchup situations late in games.

The southpaw pair of senior Kenny O'Brien and junior Colin Milon are the go-to pitchers in the later innings and will be relied upon as setup men.

"These guys are going to be the backbone of the back end of the bullpen," said Coach Sheridan.

O'Brien was dominant last season, ranking fourth in the Atlantic 10 with a 2.76 ERA while leading the team with five wins, 52 strikeouts and six saves in 58.2 innings of relief.

Milon led all pitchers with 22 relief appearances as a sophomore and posted a 2.81 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Senior Tyler McCarthy, the Colonials everyday right fielder, will open the season as the closer for the Colonials. A hard-throwing righty, McCarthy will be looked upon to close out games in the late innings. As a starter last season he pitched 41.1 innings with 15 strikeouts.

"We look at Tyler to provide senior leadership as the closer," noted Coach Sheridan. "He certainly has the physical tools and ability. We just need to get him confident in that role and a couple of saves will get him started in the right direction."

CATCHERS

A quartet of backstops are on the roster headed into the 2013 season with sophomore Xavier Parkmond, who appeared in 24 games with 11 starts as a freshman, penciled in as the starting catcher.

"We are looking for good things from Xavier," said Coach Ritchie. "His arm is strong and he can make the throws. He also has strong hands and great speed on the base paths."

Freshman Matthieu Robért, who helped guide Jesuit High School (La.) to consecutive district titles, is the primary backup. Senior Robbie Haben and freshman Travers Nammack, both versatile players who can contribute elsewhere on the diamond, are additional backstop options for the Colonials.

INFIELDERS

The starting infield will have familiar faces in the form of senior first baseman Derek Brown, senior second baseman Justin Albright and senior shortstop Matthew Murakami.

Brown started 49 games at first base last season, his first at GW. The Woodstock., Ill., native finished third on the team with 58 hits, including a .327 average when batting from the leadoff position. He was also hit at a .284 clip with 15 RBIs with runners on base.

"Brown has some pop when he squares up and puts the barrel on the ball," explained Coach Ritchie.

Albright produced five multi-hit games when splitting time at second base last season and Murakami led the team with 15 steals in addition to eight doubles and 18 RBIs. Murakami added 10 multiple-hit games and four multiple-RBI games in his first full season with the Colonials.

"We are looking for Murakami to a good job of getting on base and Albright to move those runners along," said Coach Ritchie.

Freshman Eric Kalman will open the season as the starting third baseman. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native batted .452 with five home runs, 18 doubles and 43 RBIs at Xaverian High School as a senior.

"Kalman has been a pleasant surprise this fall and spring. He is a true ball player," said Coach Ritchie. "He wants to get after it. He shows athleticism for a big, stocky guy, which is not normal. He handles the bat very well."

Also expected to log time in the infield during the season are junior Brookes Townsend and freshmen Nolan Lodden and Andy Young. Townsend is also an option at designated hitter for the Colonals.

OUTFIELD

Junior Owen Beightol will patrol left field following the departure of Stephen Oswald. Beightol is the top returning offensive player for the Colonials after leading the team in batting average (.309), slugging percentage (.459), runs (30) home runs (five) and multiple-hit games. He finished the 2011 season swinging a hot bat, hitting safely in 17 of his final 19 games.

"Beightol needs to be a hit collector," said Coach Ritchie. "Just get hits. He did a great job last year hitting .300, and we need him to do the same this season."

Senior Ryan Hickey returns to center field for his second season in the Buff & Blue. Hickey sported a team-best .992 fielding percentage with only one error and a number of acrobatic catches. He displays excellent range in center field and is also a threat at the plate after driving in 18 runs with five doubles and two home runs last season.

"He is a great defender and does a great job getting to balls," noted Ritchie. "He is not afraid to leave his feet. We want that same fearless attitude at the plate and we have seen him do it."

Senior Tyler McCarthy, who will pull double duty as the Colonials' closer, returns to patrol right field. McCarthy's arm has earned a reputation in the Atlantic 10 as he has racked up a number of outfield assists in his first three seasons.

"McCarthy is a strong defender in the outfield and he has worked really hard to make some adjustments at the plate and it is starting to show," said Coach Ritchie.

The trio of sophomore Grant Brown and freshmen Tyler Fairbanks and Gabe Scott are also expected to see time in the field throughout the season.

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