CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- George Washington baseball Coach Chad Campbell doesn't believe he's asking too much for his players to think about how every pitch in every at-bat affects the game situation.
He gives one example of positive execution during the Patriots' 8-5 victory over Winfield (7-8) on Wednesday at Floyd B. Wilcox Field.
"When Carson (Whiting) got up, we had runners at the corners and the infield still drawn in right there," said Campbell, speaking of his sophomore pinch-hitter who came to the plate in the fifth when George Washington held a two-run lead. "We've been preaching to these guys all the time to know what the count is, and now Carson has two strikes. You're trying to hit the ball through the infield and drive the run in. He finally shortens up, gets the bat on the ball and gives us a three-run lead.
"That was probably the most important at-bat of the game for us."
Whiting's RBI gave GW a three-run cushion just before Winfield loaded the bases in the seventh inning, putting the tying run on first base instead of second when a single would have scored him.
The victory ended a two-game slide for George Washington (9-5), which, like many other teams, still is looking for its stride after the recent boon of good weather.
George Washington had been something of an enigma to Campbell, who is in his eighth season.
The Patriots' season-opening five-game winning streak was buoyed by a 15-0 whipping at the hands of Cabell Midland. Four losses in their next seven games was capped by an 11-10 defeat to Capital on Tuesday in which GW led 4-0 and 10-8 and committed six errors.
On Wednesday, GW - which reached the State Tournament in 2008 - was without three starters.
Sophomore Jeff Wong was ill, Connor Moffatt sat out after suffering the effects of a concussion following a collision at home plate against Capital on Tuesday; and Garrett Vogelbach was ejected in the game against the Cougars.
Wong's status is unknown for the Patriots' next game - a 1 p.m. Friday home contest against Riverside in the Ed Carter Memorial Tournament. Moffatt is permitted to play Friday but won't be released to catch again until Tuesday, and Vogelbach can't play until the Patriots' second game of the tournament at 7 p.m. Friday against Hurricane.
"It's been a tough three days for us," Campbell said. "Monday, Tuesday and today (Wednesday) when I get a phone call from Jeff. But, I give credit to the guys who had to step up."