Barnes Hits First Career Homerun to Spark UMBC Past George Washington, 4-1

Sophomore Jake Barnes
Sophomore Jake Barnes

ARLINGTON, Va. – UMBC junior Jon Cohn (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep) came out of the pen and limited George Washington to just two hits over six innings and sophomore Jake Barnes(Annandale, Va./Annandale) hit his first career homerun to break a 1-1 tie, as the UMBC baseball team earned a 4-1 victory over the Colonials, Wednesday afternoon at Barcroft Park.

Barnes recorded the crushing blow for UMBC (6-9) in a three-run sixth inning by hitting his first career homerun, a two-run shot to left-centerfield, to break a 1-1 tie.  Freshman Kevin Lachance(Clifton, Va./Centreville) had knotted the game with an RBI-single two batters earlier.

For Cohn (2-1), this is the second time this season that he has answered the call from the bullpen and thrown four or more innings of scoreless ball for the Retrievers.  Sophomore Kevin Ladner (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury), making his first start of the season, pitched three innings, giving up just one earned run, took a no-decision when his teammate tied the game in the sixth.

Colonials' starter Brian Derner (0-1) took the loss despite surrendering just one hit on the day.  Before exiting, however, he yielded the RBI-single to Lachance, and was thus responsible as the freshman shortstop who came in to score on Barnes' blast.

After UMBC went three-up, three-down in the first, Ladner was aided out of trouble by his defense after hitting GW lead-off hitter Justin Albright, who then stole second.  Following a fly out to right, freshman catcher Manny Colon (Williamstown, N.J./Buena Regional) cut down Albright attempting to swipe third, to erase the threat. Ladner finished the inning with a called strike three against Owen Beightol.

Neither team threatened until the bottom of the third when Albright again got things going for the George Washington (8-16). The senior second-baseman lined a one-out double to the right-centerfield gap and came in to break the deadlock on an RBI-single to left by Brookes Townsend. The Retriever right-hander allowed no more and then handed it over to Cohn who handcuffed the Colonials the rest of the way.

The stingy pitching finally paid dividends for the Retrievers in the top of the sixth as junior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) drew a lead-off walk on four pitches.  He advanced to second on a wild pitch and then moved to third on a sac bunt from freshman Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional).  Lachance then stepped to the plate and singled on the first pitch he saw to level the score at a run apiece.  After Lachance moved to second on a ground out, Barenes, despite being saddled with an 0-2 count, rapped his first career-round tripper over the left-center fence to give the visitors the lead.

George Washington finally got to Cohn slightly in the bottom of the eighth as Albright hit his second double of the day with one out, and took third on a single to left by Townsend.  The rally was cut short as Colon caught his second base runner of the day, Townsend, and then Cohn got Beightol to fly out to right.

Junior Jon Cohn

In the top of the ninth, UMBC added an insurance run as junior D.J. Smith (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) led off with a single to left and eventually came around to score on a two-out base knock by junior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC).

Cohn did not allow any dramatics in the last of the ninth, sending the George Washington batters down in order and pick up his second win of the year.

UMBC continues its season-long eight-game road swing this weekend with a three-game set against America East rival Stony Brook.  The Retrievers and Seawolves will play a single game on Friday, Mar. 29 and then finish the series with a doubleheader on Saturday.

DAWG BITES

-          UMBC's win snaps a two-game skid to George Washington and cuts the Colonials' all-time lead in the series to 28-15.

-          This is second time in the last six tries that the Retrievers have won at GW.

-          Five of UMBC's last six wins against the Colonials have come on the road.

-          Cohn extended his personal shutout streak to 12.2 innings over the course of three appearances.  The junior last yielded a run on Mar. 13 at Georgetown.

-          Lachance's single in the sixth broke up a no-hitter for Derner.

-          George Washington outhit UMBC 5-4.

-          Ladner's final line: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB,  1 K

-          Cohn's final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K