After opening the season with three losses at the Wake Forest Invitational, the Georgetown baseball team dropped all three contests in their series against Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. on Feb. 22 through Feb. 24.
This marks the second year in a row that Georgetown has opened its season with a six-game skid, as the Hoyas (3-12) struggled to maintain early leads in all three games against a surging Fighting Camels (8-7) squad. Campbell came in with a strong record, winning four of their previous five games.
In the first match, the Georgetown side took advantage of early Campbell miscues and got out to a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning behind a double from graduate student outfielder Kyle Ruedisili and a single from sophomore infielder Eddie McCabe. Both players advanced and eventually scored on two of the six fielding errors from the Campbell side in the game.
Despite only giving up five hits in the game, Georgetown’s pitchers struggled to keep runners off base and surrendered seven walks and six earned runs in the eventual 7-4 loss, as the Hoyas were unable to capitalize on the Fighting Camels’ shaky defensive performance.
The following game saw an identical result with Georgetown losing to Campbell after opening with an early lead. Sophomore outfielder Kai Nelson and Ruedisili each hit their first home run in a Georgetown uniform as the Hoyas jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning.
Georgetown’s early offense, however, was met with a five-run Campbell response in the bottom of the third inning. The Hoyas would not take the lead in the match again as the bats went cold, managing only one hit and stranding eight runners on base in the remaining six innings.
The Georgetown offense came back to life in the last game of the series as the Hoyas recorded 10 hits and scored five runs in the contest. Yet, the solid offense was not enough, as Campbell pulled away late in the game with two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to secure a 9-5 win. Nelson again stood out on the offensive end as the 2017 MLB draft pick recorded his first three-hit game of the season.
This is one of the youngest Georgetown squads in recent memory, with Head Coach Pete Wilk only starting one senior position player. The team’s age does not bother Wilk, who said actions speak louder than experience.
“Leadership is also about production. Eddie [McCabe] is a leader on that field as a sophomore. Leaders, non-leaders, followers, we’re struggling right now,” Wilk said.
The constant travel, paired with the slow start to the season, has left younger players feeling frustrated, according to Wilk. The coach commended their progress.
“I think everybody’s pressing right now. I don’t think [the players] realize that with the exception of one team, we’ve played some really good teams so far,” Wilk said.
Following the triple header against Campbell, Georgetown went on a two-game win streak as they beat George Washington University 14-4 on Feb. 27 and shut out Sacred Heart University 11-0 on March 1. The dominant victory over Sacred Heart came in the Westin Lake Mary Stetson Invitational where Georgetown also faced Stetson and St. Louis. However, the Hoyas dropped both of these in close contests, losing to Stetson 5-4 and to St. Louis 7-6 in extra innings.
The team then traveled to Port Charlotte, Florida to play in the Snowbird Classic on March 5 through March 8. The Hoyas dropped their first four games of this tournament to non-conference opponents Mount St. Mary’s, Western Michigan, Ball State and Kansas. Yet, they finished strong with a 8-4 win over St. Joseph’s. This game featured strong hitting from junior outfielder Ryan Davis who led the team with four hits, scored four runs and drove in two runs.
With a weaker upcoming schedule, Georgetown will look to ease tensions and ride the ship before Big East Conference play. They next face Coppin State on March 13.