After a tough weekend at home that involved dropping two of three games to Brown, the Georgetown baseball team is beginning to regain its momentum.
Behind five perfect innings from sophomore right-handed pitcher Simon Mathews, the Georgetown baseball team (10-10) upset No. 12 Virginia (15-8) by a score of 1-0 on Tuesday. Georgetown followed its upset win with an 8-2 victory over University of Maryland Eastern Shore (6-16) to move its record to .500 this season.
“You have to point to the pitching staff, pitching well enough to give us a chance to win each game,” Head Coach Pete Wilk said.
In the matchup between Georgetown and Virginia, both offenses struggled in the contest as the Hoyas notched five hits and the Cavaliers recorded just two.
The Hoyas’ entire offensive output came from one swing of the bat, when senior first baseman AC Carter launched his second home run of the season to left field in the fourth inning, creating the only run of the game.
“When you get into a 2-0 count like that, that’s when you get a good pitch to hit, and that’s what [Carter] did, he drove it,” Wilk said.
Mathews’ five perfect innings included two strikeouts and kept the Hoyas in position to win.
“[Mathews] was able to really get us in a comfort zone by pitching like he did,” Wilk said. “He gave us some confidence and gave us some room to relax and play our game, and we played great behind him. He was really special.”
Mathews credited his teammates for their contributions to the big win.
“I was able to locate [my fastball] well enough that [the Cavaliers] didn’t make great contact, and I left it in the hands of my fielders,” Mathews said. “I think every single guy made at least one defensive play behind me. It was the very definition of a team effort.”
Senior right-hander Will Brown came on in relief for the Hoyas in the sixth inning. A one-out single gave Virginia its first baserunner, but Brown was able to keep the Cavaliers scoreless with two more full innings of relief.
Sophomore right-hander David Ellingson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the game and earn his third save of the season.
“[Brown] and [Ellingson] just went out there and poured in strikes,” Mathews said. “[Ellingson] came in throwing 94 mph and [Virginia] didn’t stand a chance.”
On Wednesday Georgetown faced Maryland Eastern Shore and won 8-2 behind freshman right-hander Jimmy Swad, who led the Hoyas by putting together three scoreless innings of relief to pick up his second win of the season.
Junior catcher Nick Collins stepped up for the Hoyas with three hits, including two home runs and three runs. Carter stayed hot with two doubles while sophomore right fielder Joseph Bialkowski and freshman second baseman Chase Bushor each recorded two hits.
The Hawks struck first in the top of the first inning with a leadoff triple followed by an RBI groundout. In the next inning, their lead was extended with a solo home run to left field.
After five innings of scoreless ball, the Hoyas’ bats finally awoke with two runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game. Carter’s double scored freshman left fielder Austin Shirley, who led off the inning with a walk. Later in the inning, Bialkowski brought home another run with a groundout to shortstop, tying the game at two.
“It took us a little while to [get] geared in off the bat with sub-par velocity and we finally did some good things,” Wilk said.
After that inning, the Hoyas never looked back. Georgetown scored one run in the seventh before tacking on four insurance runs in the eighth. Collins hit his second home run of the season to dead center to lead off the inning, and after three more hits, the Blue and Gray finished the inning with a five-run lead.
“[Collins] has been pressed a little bit and today he started to really think about going back up the middle,” Wilk said. “It was really good to see.”
Collins led off the ninth inning with another home run, this one to right-center field, to extend the lead to 8-2.“I’m seeing [the ball] real well today,” Collins said. “I made a few adjustments in [batting practice] before the game.”
With pitching as their anchor and their offense continually improving, the Hoyas are optimistic about the rest of their season.
“Things are really starting to come together for us,” Collins said. “We have a bunch of talent on this ball club, and if we keep playing like we know how to play and not trying to press, we’re going to do some special things this year.”
Georgetown faces Lipscomb (15-7) this weekend in Nashville for a three-game series. First pitch on Friday night is set for 7 p.m. followed by games Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.