The Georgetown bats continued to surge this past weekend in Winston-Salem, N.C., as the Hoyas scored 37 runs to win three out of four games at the Wake Forest Invitational. With a victory against Cincinnati (1-5), two against UMBC (0-4) and a loss to host Wake Forest (4-4) in the weekend finale, Georgetown improved to 6-2 on the young season.
Coming into the weekend, Head Coach Pete Wilk was concerned about the depth of his bullpen due to injuries and stressed the need for his starters to go deep into games. Led by senior starting pitcher Will Harris, the Blue and Gray silenced Wilk’s concerns in their first game of Friday’s doubleheader against Cincinnati.
Harris threw four flawless innings before running into some trouble in the top of the fifth, when the Bearcats tagged Harris for five runs to go ahead, 5-0. Not to be outdone, the Hoyas stormed back with 11 runs over the next three innings to take a commanding lead. The Georgetown attack was led by a crippling grand slam from senior Andy Lentz in addition to three RBI from junior Paul Bello.
Harris came back strong and threw two more solid innings before leaving the game in line for the win. Junior reliever James Heine stifled the Bearcats for the final two innings of the game to cap off an 11-6 comeback win.
The Hoyas continued their massacre of opposing pitching staffs in their second game of the day against UMBC. With freshman starter Will Brown on the mound, the Hoyas again fell behind early, 3-1. Similar to the first game, though, the offense exploded for 12 runs over four innings to knock UMBC out of the game. Bello led the way for the Blue and Gray once again with four RBI. Bello was complemented by a two-run home run from redshirt junior Mike Garza and a four-hit, two-RBI day from sophomore Steve Anderson.
The Georgetown bullpen again stepped up tremendously, with redshirt seniors Pablo Vinent and Tommy Isaacs and junior Charles Steinman allowing only one hit combined over the final four and one-third innings.
On Saturday, the Hoyas took the field against UMBC for a second time. Just like in the teams’ first meeting a day before, UMBC was routed by the merciless Georgetown lineup, 11-4.
The Blue and Gray saw production from every level of their lineup. At the top of the order, junior leadoff hitter Justin Leeson went 4-of-6 on the day while senior Rand Ravnaas tallied two RBI on three hits, including a solo home run.
The lineup’s greatest success, though, came from the six and seven slots. Six-hitter junior Corbin Blakey went 3-of-4 with three RBI, while sophomore Christian Venditti smoked a two-run homerun as part of his monster 2-of-4, four-RBI performance.
Sadly overshadowed by the surplus run support was sophomore starter Jack Vander Linden. Vander Linden gave up four runs over eight strong innings of work, earning the victory and preserving the thinly spread bullpen.
Wake Forest brought the Hoyas back down to Earth in the tournament finale Sunday, edging out the Blue and Gray, 5-2.
Despite solid efforts from junior starter Thomas Polus and the bullpen, the Hoyas surrendered five unanswered runs over the first eight innings.
The offense that had been running on all cylinders in the first three games of the weekend finally succumbed to the long weekend of play. The only sign of life came in the form of a two-run home run by the Anderson in the top of the ninth.
The Hoyas had to be pleased with the weekend’s performance. Not only did they improve their record to 6-2, but they found a new pitching force in Vander Linden and new offensive threats in Bello and Anderson. Veterans Ravnaas, Leeson and Garza all had productive weekends.
The Hoyas will face Navy on Wednesday in Annapolis, Md., with first pitch slated for 2 p.m.