The Georgetown baseball team (24-24, 7-8 Big East) had an exciting yet exhausting weekend at home against the Butler Bulldogs (21-29, 6-9 Big East), winning the last two games 12-5 and 15-12 on 22 and 18 hits, respectively. Unfortunately, the fatigue from the slugfest rolled over to Tuesday’s game, when the Hoyas were defeated by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (31-16, 13-8 America East) by a score of 4-1 in Baltimore.
“I think it was a direct correlation between the [past] weekend and this,” Head Coach Pete Wilk said. “I think our kids are spent.”
The Hoyas recorded only five hits in their final nonconference game of the regular season. Junior designated hitter Nick Collins recorded two of those hits while four other players reached base twice. The challenge was getting those players across the plate as Georgetown stranded 11 runners on base.
Senior righty Jack Vander Linden started on the mound for the Blue and Gray, giving up four runs in only 1 2/3 innings of work. UMBC’s offense was able to get to Vander Linden right from the outset of the game. Junior shortstop Kevin Lachance led off the first inning with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, stole third base and scored on redshirt junior left fielder Anthony Gatto’s RBI double. Freshman designated hitter Jamie Switalski and sophomore first baseman Connor Hax added RBI singles later in the inning to extend UMBC’s lead to 3-0.
Georgetown’s bullpen, which has been solid all season, came on to record 6 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
“Our bullpen came in, shut it down and gave us a chance to win the game,” Collins said.
Redshirt sophomore righty Jordan Chudacoff relieved Vander Linden with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. The highlight of the game, however, was sophomore right-hander Nick Leonard. He recorded 4 2/3 innings of relief, giving up only two hits and no runs while striking out three. Leonard has not seem much live action this season among the power arms in the bullpen, but Wilk is excited for what’s to come in Leonard’s future.
“I was encouraged by it,” Wilk said of Leonard’s performance.
The Hoyas’ offense came in the third inning. Sophomore center fielder Beau Hall led off with a single to left field and was then moved to second on a groundout. After freshman second baseman Chase Bushor walked, Collins hit a two-out RBI double down the left field line to score Hall for Georgetown’s only run of the game.
Georgetown threatened to score in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but it was unable to push anything across. In the fifth, freshman right fielder Michael DeRenzi and Collins each singled, but both were stranded. In the next inning, redshirt sophomore left fielder Charlie Dillon singled and Hall walked, but the Hoyas again left two runners on base as the inning ended uneventfully. The seventh inning featured more of the same, as Bushor and senior first baseman AC Carter drew walks before being stranded.
Georgetown’s inability to get the big hit with runners on base doomed it in the end, as the score held up at 4-1 in this loss to a strong nonconference opponent.
The Blue and Gray are currently in the middle of their final regular-season series against Seton Hall (22-22, 7-8 Big East), having played the first game of the series last night. The teams were originally slated to play single games on Friday and Saturday, but because of impending weather, they will play two nine-inning games starting at 1 p.m. on Friday.
The series with the Pirates is critical for the Hoyas’ postseason hopes, as the team will try to earn a spot in the Big East tournament, which includes the top four teams in the regular-season standings. St. John’s (33-14, 14-3 Big East) and Creighton (27-17, 10-4 Big East) have already locked up the top two seeds. Georgetown is currently tied with Seton Hall and Villanova (22-25, 7-8 Big East), meaning that a positive result is crucial in the battle for the third and fourth spots in the tournament.