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

GU Offense Improves in Road Wins

What a difference a weekend can make.

Just Friday afternoon, things seemed as if they couldn’t get any worse for Head Coach Pete Wilk and the Hoyas. But two sun-splashed afternoons of baseball in Storrs, Conn. has Wilk’s club reinvigorated and two Hoyas honored by the Big East.

Georgetown (16-28, 5-13 Big East) smacked Connecticut (21-23, 6-12) 10-1 on Saturday afternoon and then downed the Huskies 5-2 on Sunday, sandwiching two significant wins around a 4-1 fluke of a defeat in the second game of Saturday’s twin bill.

“I was very pleased,” Wilk said. “We played probably our best baseball game all year on Saturday.”

Following the Hoyas big weekend, the Big East Conference named senior centerfielder Mark McLaughlin its player of the week and freshman right hander Tim Adleman to its weekly honor roll.

The wins helped the Hoyas preserve a chance at making the conference playoffs for the first time in Wilk’s tenure, a goal the team set back in preseason workouts.

“[Making the playoffs] is definitely still a viable goal, one that we are confident we can accomplish,” Bouchard, a co-captain, said. “We are only two games out and we have nine games left to play in the Big East.”

McLaughlin, who has led the Georgetown offensive charge all season, hit .563 over the past week and stole six bases. Adleman earned his third win of the season in the series opener in which he pitched a one-run complete game. The lanky right-hander from Raleigh, N.C., had plenty of help from junior shortstop Matt Bouchard, who belted a three-run homer in the third inning. Senior third baseman Joseph Graziano also went yard in the third frame, adding power that has been amiss during Graziano’s injury-plagued absence.

Georgetown relies often on McLaughlin for offense and he obliged, blasting a two-run moon shot over Husky sophomore right fielder Matt Burnett’s head, capping a much-needed onslaught for the Big East’s worst offensive team.

While thrilled with his team’s resurgence at the plate, Wilk was particularly impressed with the sterling defensive effort.

“Defense has been one of our biggest concerns all year, and we went errorless on Saturday,” Wilk said. “We looked like a team of Gold Glovers out there.”

As the sun sank in the sky Saturday afternoon, so did the Hoyas offensive output. Junior right hander Michael Gaggioli pitched admirably, hurling seven hard-fought innings, but his teammates could not provide enough firepower to pad an early 1-0 lead. Gaggioli fell to 2-4 on the season after a single and a pair of sacrifice flies plated four runs.

Sophomore Jimmy Saris came back on Sunday determined to settle the score, striking out four Huskies before leaving the game in the seventh. Freshman right hander Jack Bender and senior lefty Mark Dutmers helped the Hoyas keep it close during the late innings, setting the stage for a dramatic ninth inning nail-biter.

It had been a lazy Sunday afternoon for the Blue and Gray bats, and the Hoyas trailed the Huskies 2-1 entering the final frame. Lacking the game-one pyrotechnics, Wilk resorted to small ball, ordering sophomore right fielder Kelly Muir to lay down a sacrifice bunt with freshman pinch runner Derek DiGuglielmo already aboard. uir’s bunt was bobbled by UConn senior first baseman Matt Untiet, allowing DiGuglielmo to advance to third.

Husky junior southpaw Matt Karl then came unglued, allowing DiGuglielmo to score on a balk, walking senior catcher Brandon Davis and allowing Muir to steal third. Sophomore first baseman Greg Pustizzi then executed a suicide squeeze bunt that scored Muir and gave the Hoyas the lead. Freshman third baseman Joe Silviestri added an RBI single, and McLauglin, as always, came through with another base knock that gave Georgetown a win in front of 193 heartbroken Husky fans at J.O. Christian Field.

“If we make two plays in that game we lost, we win,” Wilk said. “But to come back and leave them on their own field [the next day] was outstanding.”

The Hoyas get a break from the Big East on Wednesday afternoon, taking on Coppin State before welcoming Pittsburgh to Shirley Povich Field for a three-game set this weekend.

“To me there has always been two goals – to make the Big East playoffs and to win as many games as possible,” Wilk said. “Those two goals have not changed since the start of the season. We got going in the right direction this weekend.”

Wednesday’s first pitch is set for 7 p.m. in Rockville, d.

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