Georgetown’s bats exploded for 17 runs Wednesday afternoon to outslug Coppin State in the Hoyas’ home opener at Shirley Povich Field. Senior outfielder Rand Ravnaas helped the Hoyas improve their record to 3-1 with three hits and four RBI in a 17-11 win over Coppin State.
Head Coach Pete Wilk saw the greatest production in the lineup from an unlikely place. Georgetown’s sixth, seventh and eighth batters went a combined 7-of-12 with two home runs and nine RBI. Senior catchers Nick Geary and Kevin Johnson and junior infielder Corbin Blakey each drove in three runs, with Johnson and Blakey both going yard.
Wilk was impressed with his team’s offensive performance but still acknowledges that it is difficult to predict whether this output will continue.
“Our offense has been pretty good,” Wilk said. “This is probably the most talented offensive team we’ve had. We’ve had pretty good at-bats, but it’s a bit early to see how good we’re going to be.”
The Hoyas’ 17-run outburst overshadowed a shaky day for Georgetown pitchers.
Georgetown used six pitchers on the day, who combined to give up 11 earned runs and 14 hits. Redshirt senior Tommy Isaacs earned the win after allowing one run while striking out three over two innings of work.
Sophomore Jack Vander Linden started the game for the Blue and Gray and was by far the Hoyas’ most effective pitcher. The lanky right-hander threw two perfect innings and struck out two.
Following Vander Linden’s exit, Coppin State scored first when Georgetown freshman pitcher Max Allen got in a bind and surrendered three straight hits in the top of the third. Allen gave up one run before working his way out of the jam, thanks in part to a successful relay from Ravnaas to sophomore first baseman Steve Anderson to catcher Geary in order to throw a runner out at the plate.
In the bottom of the third, the Blue and Gray rallied to take a 4-1 lead. A sacrifice fly from senior infielder Andy Lentz, a two-run double from Ravnaas and an RBI single from redshirt junior infielder Mike Garza put the Hoyas on top. With the momentum in their favor, the Hoyas’ bats continued to thrive.
Over the next four innings, the Blue and Gray plated 13 more runs while Coppin State mustered only four. The 13-run surge was led by a two-run single from Geary and a two-run blast from Blakey, the first of his Georgetown career. Junior infielder Danny Poplawski added an RBI sac fly, and Johnson capped off the scoring affair with a three-run homer in the seventh that put the Hoyas firmly in the lead, 17-5.
With its fate all but sealed, Coppin State put together a six-run rally over the eighth and ninth innings to bring the score to 17-11. In the top of the ninth, junior reliever James Heine suppressed Coppin State’s valiant comeback attempt to secure the victory for the Blue and Gray.
Hoping to continue their hot start, the Hoyas travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., this weekend to compete in the Wake Forest Invitational against Cincinnati, UMBC and Wake Forest.
In order to come away from this four-game weekend series with some victories, Wilk’s starters will have to go deeper into games to keep the bullpen fresh — a tough task for them thus far.
“I’m concerned with four games in three days and a pitching staff that has been depleted by some injuries,” Wilk said. “We’re going to need [senior Will] Harris and [junior Thomas] Polus to go deep if we want a successful weekend.”
Wilk also stressed that this weekend should provide a good test for his lineup.
Georgetown will kick off the weekend series Friday morning against conference opponent Cincinnati, with first pitch slated for 10 a.m.