New Head Coach Gregg Ritchie Ushers In New Era in GW Baseball in 2013
Assistant Director, Internal Affairs
WASHINGTON – It seems to be the “Year of the New Coach” here at George Washington; there has been a glut of new coaches hired by Athletic Director Patrick Nero to usher inf a new athletic atmosphere. The newest of these coaches, former Pittsburgh Pirates batting coach Gregg Ritchie, alumnus ’86, is no stranger to George Washington. Coach Ritchie is also a member of the GW Athletic Hall of Fame, after posting impressive numbers as a batter and as well as a pitcher, playing many of his games in a buff uniform on the National Mall. He inherits a team that went 19-36 with middling sabermetrics, but if there is anyone capable of bringing this program to new heights, it is Coach Ritchie.
In his first interview with WRGW, Coach Ritchie insisted that the first aspect of the program to be addressed would be the team ethic. Having added a transfer and two freshmen pitchers, Ritchie will have plenty of raw material to not only teach and train, but instill good team work ethic. The team will still rely on a stable of upperclassmen on the mound for their veteran instinct and bullpen support. An interesting change comes to the team in the shape of Tyler McCarthy, who gets shifted from right field to closer, taking on late game situations. Coming to the mound from the outfield is certainly a drastic shift not only in real estate but in mentality and the change will possibly be one of the keys to watch about this new-look Colonials team. McCarthy does have the intangibles of seniority and leadership, as well as having the build of a successful pitcher, but his success might hinge on the start he has; a hot start with a couple saves could propel him into future prowess at the position but a rocky start could derail his and his teams overall success.
Ritchie brings his expertise as a hitting coach to the Colonials who had trouble putting postage stamps on the baseball, hitting only 21 home runs and exactly 100 extra base hits overall, but Coach Ritchie is surely up to the challenge after coaching the Pirates to historic highs in batting statistics, led by homegrown All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
Coach Ritchie and the Colonials open the season Friday against Davidson in North Carolina. The Colonials play their first game at the brand new Barcroft Park in Arlington, Virginia, on March 1st but have their official home opener the next day against Quinnipiac at 1 p.m. WRGW will have coverage their first game on March 1st with coverage starting at 2:45 p.m. and first pitch at 3 p.m. on gwradio.com.