GW Baseball Opens 2011 Season On Friday At Georgia Southern
Feb. 17, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC- The George Washington baseball team will open the 2011 season on Friday evening with a three-game series in Statesboro, GA against Georgia Southern University. The Colonials, returning four starters and 25 letter winners, look for their first Atlantic 10 Tournament birth since 2006.
Zebroski was voted the A-10 Player of the Year while being named All-Conference, All-Region, and an All-American. He finished his career as the Colonials all-time leader in runs (213) and hits (299), and is second all-time in games played (213), at-bats (841) and total bases (455). He also broke three single-season school records in his 2010 campaign. He shattered the hits record by 11, with 103 hits on the year. He also owns the records for most runs scored (75) and total bases (176). Following the season he was selected in the 45th round of the MLB First Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Royals.
Cantrell also had a stellar 2010 season. He finished the year with eight wins and his 114 strikeouts broke the single season strike out record. Cantrell was voted to the A-10 All Conference First Team and All-Region and was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the seventh round of the MLB First Year Player Draft.
The George Washington baseball team will have a new look in 2011. In addition to the departures of Zebroski and Cantrell, the Colonials graduated nine seniors including the entire starting infield and two-thirds of the starting rotation. The incoming freshman class and newcomers will be expected to step in and contribute right away.
"This team is put together a little differently than our recent GW squads" said head coach Steve Mrowka. "We are going to have more pitching depth to go along with a solid defense. The offense will continue to focus on the short game, but an increase in power is expected."
2011 Team Prospectus
The success of the 2011 Colonials depends heavily on the strong arms of the pitching staff. The staff consists of 12 returning pitchers and seven new recruits.
Senior Joe Richardson will be asked to anchor the staff. Last season, he was second on the team with seven wins while pitching 74.1 innings. Senior Tommy Gately, looking to build on an improved 2010 season where he was a mainstay at the back end of the bullpen, has looked strong this fall. Senior transfer student Chris Keiper comes to the Colonials from Washington College and adds experience to the staff. As a closer, at WC, Keiper had a record of 3-2 with 8 saves. Sophomore Brian Derner is much improved and returns after a strong freshman year where he spent time as both a starter and reliever. Out of his 20 appearances, five were starts, including three in the conference. Other sophomores Ryan Heinz, Raj Dharmapal, Kenny O'Brien and Jeff Griffith will look to build on solid freshmen campaigns that saw all of them pitch significant innings. The Colonials will also rely on redshirt senior Bobby Lucas, who missed the majority of 2010 with injuries, to provide senior leadership while pitching both as a starter and in relief.
Junior right-handers Luke Mirabella, Marshall Seedorff and Eric Lara are all expected to pitch quality innings in 2011. After a minor arm injury in 2010, Mirabella has fully recovered and is coming off a great summer in the K.I.T. League. Marshall has been a consistent reliever over his first to years on the staff. In 2011, he will again pitch out of the bullpen. Lara is a junior college transfer from the City College of San Francisco where he was named All-Conference as a sophomore while throwing 72.2 innings and striking out a team high 46. He has the talent to be in the starting rotation in 2011.
The Colonials will look to a pair of freshmen, Aaron Weisberg and Craig Lejeune, to play significant roles on the staff. As a high school senior, Weisberg had a 9-1 record and was named First Team All-League. LeJeune arrives at GW with a high school career record of 25-3 and All-League and All-State honors in Connecticut on his resume. Both of these right handers have a chance to be in the starting rotation for years to come.
Three more talented freshmen will have an immediate impact on the staff. Owen Beightol is both a pitcher and utility player for the squad. He was a three-year starter in high school both as a pitcher and a position player and will contribute in a similar role for the Colonials. Right hander Taylor Lambke and lefty Colin Milon are talented athletes that were All-Stars in high school for both pitching and hitting. Both players will focus on pitching this year and will have the opportunity to provide both situational and overall depth to this year's staff.
Four more two-way players will round out the staff in 2011. Junior Stephen Oswald and sophomore Justin Albright were both solid relievers in 2010 and are expected to contribute more this season. Sophomores Kevin Reagan and Tyler McCarthy did not pitch last season, but will make their debuts on the mound in 2011. All four have the chance to be every day starters as well.
The Colonials added a very talented recruit in junior college transfer Jimmy Best. Best comes to GW from the NJCAA-III National Champion Gloucester Community College. He hit .415 with 11 home runs, while earning All-Region honors at GCC. His defensive skills behind the plate should neutralize the running game and help the Colonial staff.
Junior Ryan Thomas has been a starter at the catcher for the Colonials the past two years. He had a good fall and is expected to have a solid 2011 season after a slow 2010. Sophomore Robbie Haben split time behind the plate with Thomas in last season. Haben drove in 14 runs and gained a great deal of experience working with the Colonial pitching staff. He will see time behind the plate and in the infield.
All four starting infielders graduated after the 2010 season. The outstanding defense and bats of Chris Holland at third, Tom Zebroski at short, Sean Rockey at second, and Chris Luick at first will be difficult to replace.
The new-look infielders are lead by junior shortstop Brett Bowers. He is a transfer from Catonsville Community College where he was named to NJCAA-II All-Region, All-Region Gold Glove and All-Conference. His outstanding arm and defensive skills will be a huge asset for the 2011 infield.
Through fall workouts, no starter at second base was determined. It is clear that junior Ollie Mittag and sophomore Justin Albright, are fully capable of contributing everyday at the position. Both saw significant playing time in 2010 and will look to come into their own in 2011. Sophomore third basemen Paul Pakan is coming off an outstanding rookie campaign in 2010. Pakan was fifth on the team with five home runs and had a respectable .291 batting average. Pakan also saw playing time at second base after a season ending injury to senior Sean Rockey. Freshman Brookes Townsend is an outstanding player who will serve as a utility player in 2011.
Another newcomer is freshman first basemen Jordan Berry. Jordan comes to Foggy Bottom from Milton Academy in Massachusetts where he was an elite football and baseball player. He had a strong fall season and has a chance to be the starter at first base and add a powerful bat to the lineup. Also at first base, are sophomore Kevin Reagan and freshman Patrick Loughran. This fall, Reagan showed improvement over 2011, where he played in only three games. Loughran is a strong left-handed hitter that was a nice surprise this fall; he will serve as a valuable bat off the bench.
The outfield is an area of strength for the Colonials in the 2011 season. Senior Brendon Kelliher is the team leader and will anchor the outfield from center field. He is coming off a stellar junior year where he was named to the A-10 All-Conference second team. He hit a robust .381 (ranking eighth overall in the A-10) with 15 home runs (fifth in A-10) and 56 RBI. Kelliher will be a key hitter in the middle of the Colonial line up.
Two more returners are sophomore Tyler McCarthy and junior Stephen Oswald. McCarthy started in 39 games his rookie year while hitting a solid .273 with eight doubles. Oswald is coming off a sophomore season that saw him make major strides in his development. He was fourth on the team in both RBI (41) and home runs (seven). Oswald looks to solidify himself as a middle of the order hitter.
Freshman Owen Beightol is a multi-position player. He had a great fall defensively and when he is not pitching he will contribute in the outfield and even the infield as needed. Beightol's speed makes him a candidate for a top of the order hitter
Another pleasant surprise during the fall was the play of sophomore Kyle Gelling and senior Joe Motto. Gelling is coming off an injury plagued 2010. He is a solid defender and has a much improved left-handed bat. Motto adds much needed speed and athleticism to the Colonial lineup. Along with his versatility in the outfield, he provides great leadership and energy.