Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

BASEBALL | Hoyas Drop Two of Three at Home

The Georgetown baseball team (15-8, 1-2 Big East) played its first Big East series of the season over the weekend, taking one of three games from Connecticut (13-7, 2-1 Big East) at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, Md.

The Hoyas, winners of seven straight heading into the series, won Friday’s matchup 5-2 on the strength of redshirt sophomore Jack Vander Linden’s pitching before losing 6-0 Saturday and 3-2 Sunday.

“We played great Friday, didn’t do anything offensively Saturday and competed our butts off on Sunday,” Head Coach Pete Wilk said. “We didn’t come up with a big hit Saturday, and Sunday, that could have changed the whole outcome.”

On Friday, Vander Linden (2-0), the Hoyas’ ace, pitched five scoreless innings before the bullpen took over, and seniors Neal Dennison and Charlie Steinman, who have respective ERAs of 0.43 and 1.69, contributed scoreless innings of their own. Offensively, Georgetown was led by sophomore shortstop Ryan Busch, who fell just a triple short of batting for the cycle. Busch — who bats eighth in the order — may have earned himself a spot closer to the heart of the lineup after going 3-for-4 with a home run, a single and a double for two RBIs after recording two multi-RBI games in Georgetown’s two previous wins against George Washington and Maryland Eastern Shore.

Wilk cautioned, though, that Busch’s production alone would not cause an entire reshuffling of the lineup.

“We may change [the lineup], but it’s not just based on what one guy’s doing,” Wilk said. “Busch is hitting the way we know he is capable of hitting now. He might slide up, but it’s not a science like that. You have to look at the matchup, and bottom line, we’re trying to put our best nine [hitters] out there.”

On Saturday, the Hoyas could not produce offensively; despite recording eight hits, they left all eight runners on base. Senior starting pitcher Thomas Polus (2-2) gave up four earned runs, including a three-run homer to UConn second baseman LJ Mazzilli in the first inning, and the Blue and Gray would not recover as the Huskies snapped Georgetown’s eight-game win streak.

“Polus made a couple mistakes, and he paid for them,” Wilk said. “You tend to do so in this conference.”

Sunday’s game was more of a back-and-forth affair, as Georgetown held two separate leads in the early going. Junior right fielder Christian Venditti, batting cleanup, drove in freshman catcher Eric Webber in the first to extend his team-leading RBI total to 23. After the Huskies tied the game in the bottom of the second inning, senior center fielder Justin Leeson scored senior third baseman Trevor Matern on a sacrifice fly in the top of the third.

However, sophomore starter Matt Hollenbeck (0-3) gave up another run in the bottom of the fourth and Mazzilli drove in the game winner in the fifth off sophomore reliever Will Brown.

This weekend, the Hoyas will try to rebound and move back to .500 against the Bulls of South Florida, to whom they will play host in a three-game set starting Thursday. The Bulls are coming off a sweep of Cincinnati in their Big East opener.

Wilk stressed the importance of limiting errors for the weekend’s games.

“As long as we’re playing anybody in-conference, I talk to the team all the time about the importance of 90 feet on both sides of the ball,” Wilk said, referring to the distance between bases. “We play for 90 feet offensively and try to limit 90 feet defensively. If we can control walks and errors, we can get into a lot of games.”

Georgetown will face USF at Shirley Povich Field at 1 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *