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 Have High Hopes for 2024 Campaign

Heading into the 2024 season, the Georgetown baseball team has optimism for an improved year.
Instagram+%40hoyabaseball+%7C+Hoyas+in+their+season-opening+weekend+at+the+MLB+Desert+Invitational.
Instagram @hoyabaseball | Hoyas in their season-opening weekend at the MLB Desert Invitational.

The Georgetown University baseball team has quietly had what is likely the best two-year stretch in school history. The Hoyas have made back-to-back Big East Tournaments after finishing in the top half of the Big East, and they are led by a rising star in college coaching in manager Edwin Thompson. Georgetown even had a third-round selection in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft last year in pitcher Jake Bloss, whom the Houston Astros selected with the 99th overall pick

This year, the Hoyas should be even better than before. With a deep and talented roster, Georgetown has put itself in a position to win its first-ever Big East Tournament. This would mean an automatic birth in the NCAA Tournament, a first in Hoya baseball history.

Blue-Chip Talent

Georgetown boasts one of the strongest pitching staffs in school history. Sophomore righty Cody Bowker and senior lefty Everett Catlett, both of whom have received MLB buzz as of late, headline the rotation.

Junior southpaw Andrew Williams is expected to have a major role in this year’s team, while highly-regarded juniors Matthew Sapienza and Marshall Whitmer are returning from injury. Also expect graduate righty Cody Jensen, first-year righty Johan Franco and first-year lefty Marcello Mastroianni to compete for starts.

The position player group may be even stronger. 2023 All-American senior outfielder Jake Hyde leads the lineup — with 35 career home runs, Hyde is just four short of breaking the all-time Georgetown career record.

Junior catcher and former Big East Freshman of the Year Owen Carapellotti and his 53 career RBIs will man the middle of the lineup, and two four-year players in utility player Michael Eze and first baseman Christian Ficca add experience and talent to the lineup.

The Hoyas also added a crop of exciting new talent in the transfer portal and in first-year recruits, with 2022 All-American Second Team graduate outfielder Kavi Caster, a transfer from Salisbury University, and first-year infielder Vernon Clay highlighting the group.

Depth, Depth, Depth

Despite this collection of blue-chip talent, players and coaches alike emphasized that the depth of this year’s team will be their identity and strength. 

“I think our depth is really gonna come into play,” Thompson told The Hoya. “We have some depth that can really sustain us, we have some good experience in some really good areas. We return 5 or 6 guys who started on the weekends last year. Our depth is kind of our identity.”

Carapellotti said the Hoyas have extremely strong depth this year. 

“When the guys who don’t start get their chance, I think it’s gonna be just as exciting as when the starters play,” Carapellotti told The Hoya. “I think everyone will be able to produce.” 

“I think it’s gonna be something the Big East is gonna fear a little bit,” Carapellotti added.

Cohesive Culture

With 24 upperclassmen, 13 of whom have never played for a school other than Georgetown, the culture of this year’s team is another strength. Thompson, who is in his fourth season since being appointed before the pandemic-affected 2020 campaign, finally has a cohort of upperclassmen that he recruited to Georgetown as first-years.

This familiarity has allowed Thompson to instill a strong culture within the Hoya locker room. Carapellotti noted that for the team’s upcoming road trip, several underclassmen joined the travel squad despite the fact that they likely would not see playing time; still, Carapellotti said they could not have been more excited about the opportunity.

“Those guys are fired up to be going even though they know their role is to just be on the bench and give out positive energy,” Carapellotti said. “They were fired up to do that. Even though they know they aren’t gonna play, they’re not bummed out — they’re excited to go in the first place.”

In the NIL and the transfer portal world of modern-day college athletics, such a culture cannot be taken for granted. 

“Nobody’s transferring out, we only got guys transferring in,” pitcher Williams told The Hoya.  “I think that speaks to our culture.” 

New Ballpark

The Hoyas, after years of roaming around the DMV and playing their home games in as many as three different parks, have finally found a permanent home for the season in Capital One Park in Tysons, Va., just a five-minute walk from the McLean station along the Metro’s Silver Line.

The Hoyas began play this weekend against Grand Canyon, Calif. and Kansas State in the MLB Desert Invitational in Ariz., losing in a tight game to Grand Canyon, a blowout to Cal and a squeaker to Kansas State. The Hoyas’ first home game will be March 1 at 3 p.m. against Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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    Joetown EnthusiastFeb 23, 2024 at 12:42 pm

    Excellent piece!

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