The Terrapins (5-6) will host the George Washington Colonials (3-8) at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium in College Park, Maryland on Wednesday, March 9 at 4:00 p.m. It will be the second game of a mid-week back-to-back for the Terps, who were defeated at Harford Community College by the Delaware Blue Hens yesterday by the score of 10-8.
Terps standout 2B Nick Dunn had a solid day at the plate yesterday, as he went 1-for-3 with 3 RBIs and 1 run scored. The freshman is leading the team in hitting with a .410 avg. in 11 games started. He is second on the team in RBIs with eight.
The Terps dropped below the .500 mark following back-to-back losses.
Last season, the Colonials defeated the Terps, who were ranked #16 in the nation at the time, by the score of 12-1 in College Park, Maryland.
The Colonials are coming off their first winning season in a decade. Although they finished with a 32-22 record last season, GWU has struggled out of the gate in 2016. The team is riding a four-game losing streak after being swept at home this past weekend by Cal State Northridge.
The Colonials are known for their early starts. In 11 games this season, they have outscored opponents 19-11 in the first three innings of play. However, the club has just a 3-2 record when leading after eight innings. They have been outscored 12-1 in 9th innings this season.
Overall, however, the bats have been quiet for the Colonials to begin the season, as they’ve averaged just 3.9 runs per game and just 2.75 runs per game during their four-game skid. Two players struggling on offense are sophomore catcher Brandon Chapman and junior outfielder Joey Bartosic. Chapman has started nine games behind home plate and is batting .194 with a .237 OBP. He’s struck out 15 times in 36 at-bats. Bartosic’s struggles are a bit surprising, as he started every game and led the team in runs scored with 39, in hitting with a .327 avg. and a .380 OBP last season. He also stole 21 bases with an 84 percent success rate. He and Chapman were tied for fourth on the team in RBIs in 2015 with 25. This season, the junior is batting .265 with a .308 OBP in 11 games started, has just one RBI, and has been caught stealing twice in three attempts.
STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP
WED AT 4:00 PM
Jr. LHP Shane Sweeney (1-0, 0.90 ERA) vs. Fr. RHP John Murphy (0-1, 9.64 ERA)
Sweeney will be making his third start and fourth appearance of the season for the Colonials. The 6-foot-4 southpaw has allowed just one earned run, nine hits and four walks in 10 innings pitched. He’s averaging a strikeout per inning. Sweeney pitched five shutout innings in both starts this year. Sweeney transferred to George Washington from the Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville following his sophomore year.
Murphy will be making his second career start for the Terps. He struggled in his first outing at Delaware last week. The 6-foot-4 right-hander allowed six hits and five earned runs while striking out three batters in 4.2 innings pitched.
Despite the slow start, there are multiple bright spots in the batting order for the Colonials. Sophomore outfielder Mark Osis, who only appeared in 18 games last season, has started 10 games this year and is leading the team in hitting with a .447 avg. and a .523 OBP. He is also tied for the team-lead in runs scored with seven. Junior outfielder Andrew Selby is also off to a hot start. Selby has started all 11 games and is second on the team in hitting with a .410 avg. and a .489 OBP. He’s tied for the team-lead in walks with six, which is three more than the next player. Junior shortstop Kevin Mahala has been the main run producer for the Colonials. Mahala is batting .311 with a .354 OBP and leads the team in home runs and RBIs with two and 10, respectively.
George Washington pitchers Luke Olson and Robbie Metz were key contributors last season, but both have struggled early this year. Last year, Olson was indispensable out of the bullpen. He sported a 3-1 record and a 2.59 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched and 19 appearances out of the ‘pen. This year, the senior right-hander is 0-1 with an 8.53 ERA in 6.1 innings pitched and seven appearances. Opponents are batting .458 against him. Metz, a sophomore, was a staple in both the rotation and batting order for the Colonials last season. As a freshman, the righty posted a 3-3 record and a 3.23 ERA in 11 starts. As an infielder, he started 51 games, hit for a .306 avg. and stole 19 bases. This season, Metz is 0-2 with a 5.28 ERA in three games started on the mound. In 10 games started at 2nd base and DH, he is batting .270 with a .325 OBP.