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

Hoyas Swept by Rutgers to Open Big East Play

The Hoya comeback train has finally run out of steam.

After entering the weekend on a hot streak, Georgetown was extinguished by the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers, who emerged victorious in all three contests played this weekend at Shirley Povich Field.

Despite being swept in their Big East home opener, Georgetown stayed competitive in all three games, which were each decided by a margin of two runs or less.

This weekend marked the first time this season that the Hoyas came out on the losing side of a close contest: Six of the Hoyas’ 12 victories so far have been of the comeback variety.

Head Coach Pete Wilk said hewas not happy with his team’s performance. When asked what he could take from the weekend positively, Wilk said, “Not a whole lot.”

Wilk emphasized the high standards he has for his team.

“It’s not what we wanted,” said Wilk. “We should have beaten them all three times. I expect us to win. I don’t expect just to be competitive anymore.”

any of the Hoya woes were self-inflicted. The usually reliable Georgetown defense committed seven errors, many of which came at crucial junctures. Had the Hoyas exhibited their typical consistency in the field, it is likely that the Blue and Gray would not be staring at an 0-3 conference record.

“We gave each and every game to them,” said Wilk. “If routine plays are made, we’re 3-0.”

Wilk’s statement was most evident in Friday’s contest. In the top of the first, the Scarlet Knights capitalized on a Hoya throwing error to jump out to an early 3-0 advantage, forcing Georgetown to play in catch-up mode from the get-go.

The Hoyas quickly responded and tacked on some runs of their own, tying the score after two innings of play. However, Rutgers struck back in the top of the third, recording four more runs off junior right-hander Tommy Isaacs to build a 7-3 lead.

The Hoya bats went cold until the seventh inning, when the Blue and Gray began to mount a rally. After junior Sean Lamont led off with a walk, fellow junior Dan Capeless propelled him into scoring position with a single. Scoring position proved to be of little importance however, as senior left-fielder Billy Cupelo drove in both base-runners with one mighty swing of the bat, crushing a three-run home run to cut the Rutgers lead to one.

Rutgers added another score in the top of the eighth, extending their lead to 8-6. Georgetown created another rally opportunity in the bottom of the inning, as a single from senior Tommy Lee and a double from sophomore Rand Ravnaas put runners on second and third with no outs. Unfortunately the Hoyas were unable to fully capitalize, plating only one run. Trailing 8-7 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Hoyas were retired in order.

Failed scoring attempts plagued the Blue and Gray for the entire weekend. In Friday’s game, the Hoyas stranded 10 runners.

“In three games we left 33 guys on base,” said Wilk. “If someone steps up, we’re looking at a different record.”

Losing a number of close games consecutively can often deplete the confidence of a team. But despite the negative outcome, Wilk remains confident in his squad.

“We’ll respond well. These are mature kids, and we’re better than we played this week. We’ll be fine.”

These three losses will not bode well for the Hoyas’ Big East ambitions. If they would like to be considered among the Big East’s elite, they will need to start recording some conference victories – fast.

Up next for the Blue and Gray is a home series against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. As a traditionally strong baseball program, the Fighting Irish should not be taken lightly.

“They’re always strong,” said Wilk. “They’re a solid, fundamental ball club. We need to take care of business.”

Notre Dame, who lost its last four games, will also enter the game winless in conference play after being swept at South Florida. As both sides will be hungry for that first conference win, expect a high-intensity environment throughout.

Instead of focusing on his opponents, Wilk has decided to center his team’s attention on itself.

“I don’t really care who we’re playing anymore,” said Wilk. “If we take care of our own yard, there’s no need to look at the neighbor’s.”

The Hoyas will be back on the diamond this Friday. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.

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