Generals baseball starts season strong with pair of home wins

The baseball team won both games by at least six runs on Saturday, giving them undefeated start

Kathryn Young

After a historic 2017 season, the Washington and Lee baseball team is looking to continue its momentum into this season. The Generals competed in the ODAC Championship game last season for the first time since 2009, and for just the sixth time in program history. The Generals also tied a single-season record for wins with 28.

The team swept Averett in a doubleheader over the weekend, winning the first game 6 to 0 and the second game 11 to 7.

Three doubles in game two helped lead the team to victory, coming from Kyle Ruedisili, ‘18, Austin Crane, ‘18, and Zach Loewenberg, ‘19. Ruedisili also hit a double in game one.

Despite only a few short weeks of practice, the team said it is already ready to compete.

“This year is unique because we have less than two weeks to prepare for our first game, but the guys have been doing a great job of getting as much work in as possible,” said David Van Geluwe, ‘18, a pitcher and team captain for the Generals.

Van Geluwe finished last season with a 2.29 ERA and 11 strikeouts.

While the team lost All-American pitcher Tom Concklin, ’17, many talented pitchers remain for the Generals. One of these pitchers, Danny Devereux, ’19, finished second in the ODAC in wins with eight, third in ERA (2.33) and fourth in saves with five. Devereux set the program career record last season for saves, with 13 over his first two seasons. He received First Team All-ODAC honors and was a second team all-state pick.

“Our greatest strengths this year are going to be our bullpen and our competitiveness at the plate,” said Van Geluwe. “We return all of our bullpen arms and have added some talented freshmen.”

Left-handed pitcher Carson McKoon, ’20, struck out 22 batters last season in 40.2 innings pitched. McKoon won the first game for the Generals, throwing 6.2 innings of the seven-inning game. He struck out seven batters and allowed no runs in his first game of the season.

“Just like last year, we have a lot of confidence in our bullpen,” McKoon said. “It has been one of our biggest strengths since even before I got here, and that hasn’t really changed this year.”

He continued, “We know that if we put up a couple runs and have solid starts from our starting pitching that our bullpen can win us games.”

In June, the team’s coach of just two years left for Lynchburg College. The men will now be led by former assistant coach, Ted White, with help from newcomer Brandon Cohen.

Cohen came to Washington and Lee after spending last season as a softball coach at Bridgewater College. Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach at James Madison University.

“I am looking forward to being a part of a program that challenges our players to be the best version of themselves in all aspects of life,” Cohen said. “We have tried hard to create an environment that encourages failure through trying new things and exploring the limits of their abilities as players. I am excited to see what each player has learned and how it translates into competition.”

Chadwick Feeley, ‘19, earned First Team All-ODAC honors, First Team All-State honors, and was named to the ODAC All-Tournament team last season after batting .371 in 178 at-bats. Feeley hit a key RBI to tie the second game this weekend and later scored off a double from Loewenberg.

“I’m looking forward to the chance to compete with my teammates again,” Feeley said going into Friday’s games. “We were very close to achieving our goal last year and I’m excited to get another chance at it.”

While Loewenberg said he is proud of all that the team accomplished last season, he is looking forward to doing all that and more in the season ahead.

“As a team, we want to build off of our success from last year,” he said. “Being co-regular season champs and advancing to the conference championship was a great accomplishment for the program, but we know as a unit that we can accomplish more.”