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

Pirates Steal Series, But Hoyas Recover

They dropped the ball this time.

Georgetown went into South Orange, N.J., hoping to take advantage of the series against bottom-feeders Seton Hall, but the Hoyas ended up losing two of the three games to drop to a share of last place in the conference.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” Head Coach Pete Wilk said. “It was a series that we should’ve taken, and we didn’t get it done.”

After leading into the sixth and second-to-last inning of Saturday’s first game, the Hoyas (20-19, 4-9 Big East) fell in a tough 4-3 loss to the Pirates (11-22, 4-9 Big East).

Georgetown got on the board early, as junior centerfielder Tim Jones, who had singled and stolen a base, scored thanks to two mistakes by Seton Hall freshman starter Dan Merklinger: a wild pitch and a throwing error.

Senior right fielder Billy Quinn’s solo home run to left field added a run for the Hoyas in the fourth inning. Two frames later, junior first baseman Ryan Craft’s single scored Jones, who went 2-for-3 with two runs in the game.

But the bottom fell out for the Hoyas in the bottom of the sixth as Seton Hall’s bats finally woke up to rally for four runs.

Down 4-3 with one more inning to go in the top of the doubleheader, Georgetown could not recover, and that became the final score.

Two freshmen starters squared off in that game: Merklinger and Georgetown’s Michael Gaggioli. By the time the fat lady had sung, Merklinger (1-2) threw a 12-strikeout complete game to earn his first win while Gaggioli (3-3) lasted for 5.1 innings, striking out seven.

Though the close loss in the first game was disappointing, Georgetown was able to brush it off and take a 6-3 win in the bottom of the doubleheader.

The highlight for the Hoyas came in the final inning as senior closer Tom Braun earned his 12th career save, breaking the 15-year-old Georgetown record.

Braun may have seen his last closing situation of the year as Wilk plans to move Braun into the starting rotation to fill in for two injured junior right-handers – Warren Sizemore, who is out for the season, and Stephen Burns, who has a chance to come back later this year.

“I was happy to get [Braun] the record because I know it makes him happy,” Wilk said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked of him. He’s been a tremendous teammate.”

Georgetown’s first run came in the first inning as Jones tripled and then scored on a wild pitch. Three Hoyas – Jones, sophomore left fielder Mark McLaughlin and senior first baseman Jim Supple – ended up with triples in the game.

“[Jones is] starting to come around,” Wilk said. “We moved him up in the lineup. He’s been a sparkplug for us.”

The Pirates put up a run in the second, and junior right fielder Brandon Cohen and sophomore third baseman Casey Hines, who went 3-for-4, homered in the fourth and fifth, respectively, but the effort was not enough.

Georgetown scored twice in the fourth inning as McLaughlin tripled and later scored on a single from Craft. A passed ball allowed Craft to move into scoring position, and he crossed the plate on a base hit from Supple, making the score 3-2.

Sophomore catcher Brandon Davis scored in the fifth, and Supple scored after his triple the next inning. Supple, who went 3-for-4 on the game, also scored an insurance run in the ninth, this time on a passed ball.

Senior righty Eddie Pena (2-4) earned the win in eight innings of work, striking out eight but giving up eight hits. Freshman right-hander Dan McDonald, who tallied seven Ks and allowed seven hits in his seven innings, took the loss, which evened his record at 3-3.

Monday’s deciding game turned into batting practice for Seton Hall as the Pirates teed off for three home runs in the 13-3 win. The baker’s dozen of runs was a season high for Seton Hall while Georgetown made five errors.

Sophomore first baseman John Walsh led the pillaging for the Pirates, belting two solo home runs to go 3-for-5. Freshman left fielder Mark Pappas also hit one out of the park as he went 2-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs. McDonald, who served as designated hitter, added a homer of his own to give senior righty Jake Haggerty more than enough runs for the win.

Seton Hall had a fleet foot in its arsenal as well – senior infielder Anthony Seratelli stole his 20th base of the season to put him in a tie for first in the Big East.

Senior lefty Michael Halloran (5-2) took the loss for Georgetown, giving up four earned runs and striking out five in his three-inning start. Haggerty (3-5) yielded three earned runs while fanning seven in 7.1 innings.

Three days later, Craft’s ninth-inning walk-off home run gave Georgetown a 9-8 win over Coppin State (18-23, 10-4 MEAC). The blast was Craft’s second of the night as he went 4-for-4.

When the two teams met on April 5, the Hoyas won 16-2, but victory would not come as easily this time. The game opened up with home runs on both sides as Eagle sophomore catcher Brian Vickers launched one out in the top of the first, only to have Craft answer with a two-run homer of his own.

The home run theme continued as both freshman second baseman atthew Maranges and Jones each hit one out of the park, Maranges in the sixth for his first at Georgetown and Jones in the seventh.

“It’s nice to see Timmy [Jones] showing some power and a freshman contribute in such a big way,” Wilk said. “[Maranges] caught us all by surprise.”

Coppin State’s four-run rally in the top of the fourth kept the game close, and they tied it up 8-8 in the eighth inning. But thanks to Craft, Georgetown claimed the victory, with Braun earning the win while Eagle sophomore righty Alex Hangland took the loss.

The Hoyas face off against Boston College (24-10, 9-4 Big East), who sits at second place in the conference, in Chestnut Hill, ass., for three games this weekend.

“Rather than worry about the opponent, I’d rather focus on what we’re doing,” Wilk said, “to break the game down into smaller pieces to find success.”

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