Behind a season-high nine runs in the seventh inning, the Georgetown baseball team (15-19, 1-2 Big East) defeated George Mason (10-23, 2-7 Atlantic 10) 12-5 on Wednesday at Shirley Povich Field. In addition to their offensive outburst late in the game, the Hoyas’ defense was a major key in their victory. In a season that has been plagued with 57 defensive errors, the team committed no errors in their win.
“We’ve been plugging away at [our defensive effort]. It’s definitely been something we’ve been speaking about,” Head Coach Pete Wilk said. “That was the thing that pleased me most about [Wednesday] is that we played really good defense, and we really haven’t done that in a while.”
On the mound, the Hoyas started off the game with junior pitcher Nick Leonard, who threw a stellar six innings and allowed three hits and one run.
However, the George Mason bats warmed up at the start of the seventh, allowing the Patriots to break out to a 4-2 lead entering the bottom of the inning — a situation all too familiar for the Hoyas this season.
“It’s kind of something we’ve struggled with all year, responding to [late-game deficits],” sophomore shortstop Chase Bushor said. “We just came out and wanted to win, and everyone just went up and had quality at-bats.”
Bushor and the rest of the team’s big bats drove in nine runs to take a commanding 11-4 lead entering the top of the eighth. The Hoyas would never look back, closing out the game 12-5.
Sophomore pitcher Jimmy Swad was awarded the win, while Bushor finished with four hits in five at-bats, including three RBIs, two doubles and two runs scored.
Though Georgetown broke out to a big lead, it was the team’s strong defense that closed the game.
“Defensively, we played solid the whole time. We had a lot of good plays. [Senior outfielder] Charlie Dillon robbed a home run in left. [Junior outfielder] Beau Hall ran down a ball,” Bushor said of his teammates’ standout defensive performances. “Lots of good defensive plays. Hopefully that can feed into the weekend.”
Heading into this weekend, the Hoyas will host the Xavier Musketeers (12-22) for a three-game series in their conference home opener. Xavier has struggled this year but posits a deep threat for Georgetown’s fielders.
“They have a lot of power hitters, not many average hitters. They have like 31 home runs this year, so keep the ball in the yard,” Bushor said about preparing for the Xavier offense. “Keep playing the way we’re playing, and I think we’re going to be well-off.”
Though he was proud of his team’s defensive efforts, Wilk emphasized the need for defensive consistency game after the game and said he was also wary of the Musketeers’ base-running talents.
“We’re going to spend some time defending the running game. With the pitchers, I’m sure we’re going to work … as we always do,” Wilk said. “Yeah, they have a lot of power. But they also have a lot of strikeouts. And they don’t have anyone hitting over 300. We just gotta try and stay away from that one mistake that lands in the trees and play our game.”
With the conference schedule now moving into full swing, the team’s outlook has shifted toward positivity and confidence beyond just Xavier.
“I think we can become a playoff team at this point, if we can tighten up our defense and pitch a little better,” Wilk said.
The three-game home series will begin Friday at 4 p.m., continue Saturday at 3 p.m. and conclude Sunday at 1 p.m. The games will be webcast with a live stream and stats on GUHoyas.