Baseball Falls to George Washington 12-5, Splits Season Series

Freshman Mark Esposito
Freshman Mark Esposito

BALTIMORE – Freshman third baseman Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) went 2-for-4, knocking in two runs on his first career triple, but it was not enough as George Washington defeated the UMBC baseball team, 12-5, Wednesday evening at Alumni Field.

For Esposito it was his first career multi-hit game as he also roped a double to the left-centerfield gap to lead off the fifth inning.  Juniors Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) and Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC), as well as freshman Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville), also each collected two hits in the game.

Justin Albright and Owen Beightol each went 3-for-5 for George Washington (15-26) with the latter also scoring twice and driving in three runs.

Making his first start of the season, Tyler McCarthy threw eight plus innings to pick up the win for the visitors.  The senior right-hander (1-0) struck out four while giving up four runs on seven hits.

Freshman Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) took the loss for the Retrievers after surrendering eight earned runs on 12 hits.  Stephenson (1-6) fanned three batters while walking one in five plus innings or work.

George Washington jumped on Stephenson early as the first three batters reached on a two singles and a walk to open the scoring.  The Colonials added one more in the inning to stake to a 2-0 lead before the Retrievers could bat.  They would tack on two more in both the third and fourth innings to build a 6-0 lead.

McCarthy held UMBC (11-21) hitless until the fourth when Lachance chopped a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third with none out after sophomore Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) reached on a dropped third strike.  The GW starter looked like he might get out of it unscathed after two foul outs, but Coluccio cashed in on the opportunity with a shot back up the box to plate both runs and cut the lead to 6-2.

Both teams went scoreless in the fifth, and the Colonials extended the lead to 9-2 with a three-run sixth.  After the first three batters of the inning singled, the last one plating a run, Stephenson was lifted.  GW then added two more runs in the inning on a fielder's choice and a single through the left side by Beightol.

The Retriever bullpen stymied the visitors until the top of the ninth when they pushed three unearned runs across the dish. 

UMBC was not done for the night, however, and made a concerted rally in the last of the ninth. Coluccio led off the inning by dropping a single down the right field line and senior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) drew a four-pitch walk to knock out McCarthy.  Reliever Craig Lejeune entered and struck out his first batter, but then Esposito struck with his triple just inside the third base bag to score both Coluccio and Gilchrist.  McCabe then yanked a single into right to bring home Esposito and cut the lead to 12-5.  Corbi followed with a single, but the threat was cut short by a fielder's choice out at second and a strike out swinging.

UMBC now returns to America East play with a three-game weekend series at Albany.  The Retrievers and Great Danes will play two on Saturday beginning at noon and follow it with a single contest on Sunday.

DAWG BITES

-          UMBC and George Washington split the season series after the Retrievers won 4-1 at Barcroft Park on Mar. 27.

-          GW's win is their eighth in the last ten games against the Retrievers and increases their lead in the all-time series to 29-15.

-          UMBC falls to 6-8 in non-conference play this spring.

-          Lachance is now on a team-best four-game hit streak.

-          Coluccio, Lachance, and McCabe each have collected eight multi-hit games this season.