The Georgetown baseball team (11-13, 0-3 Big East) extended its losing streak to six games and fell below .500 for the first time this year after dropping all three games of their series to USF (17-8, 3-0 Big East) this weekend.
The Hoyas opened conference play Friday night anxious to get their first win in four games, but USF pitcher Andrew Barbosa had different plans. The senior lefty dominated in his six innings of work, allowing no runs and only one hit. In fact, Barbosa was nearly untouchable, striking out 13 of the 20 Georgetown batters he faced.
The Blue and Gray’s starting pitcher, junior Neal Dennison, was unable to replicate Barbosa’s impressive performance. With the Bulls on fire early, Dennison allowed five runs over the first three innings and surrendered another run in the fifth, when he was relieved by freshman Will Brown.
The Hoyas also failed to match USF’s offensive output, as the usually active Georgetown lineup recorded just three hits and drew only two walks. With Georgetown batters completely neutralized, USF never trailed and easily cruised to a 6-0 win.
Georgetown couldn’t make anything happen on Saturday, either. An RBI single from junior outfielder Justin Leeson left the score at 1-1 after three innings, and junior starting pitcher Thomas Polus preserved the tie in the second, third and fourth innings.
But the southpaw couldn’t keep going and gave up five runs in the fifth and sixth innings before he was replaced by sophomore Jack Vander Linden.
Although Vander Linden threw two and a third innings of flawless relief, the Hoyas could not muster a comeback. In the end, South Florida’s pitching carried the Bulls to a 6-1 victory.
Sunday’s loss was tougher because Georgetown got on the board first, with an RBI single from junior outfielder Paul Bello. USF capitalized on two Georgetown errors in the bottom half of the inning to plate two and take a 2-1 advantage, but the Hoyas tied it up in the fourth thanks to a solo home run from redshirt junior infielder Mike Garza.
But with the game tied, 2-2, Georgetown again unraveled. Over the course of the sixth, seventh and eight innings, the Bulls tabbed the Hoyas’ senior starting pitcher Will Harris and the Hoyas’ bullpen for five more runs to take a 7-2 advantage, which was to be the final score.
The USF sweep drops the Hoyas to 0-3 in conference play, with their next conference series coming against Rutgers this weekend. In order to take some conference games back, Head Coach Pete Wilk knows his team needs to make some adjustments.
“Our defense needs to be better, and we work hard at it. Right now it seems like we’re either not hitting when we pitch well or not pitching or playing defense when we hit well,” Wilk said. “We need to put all three aspects of the game together consistently, and then we’ll start winning more games. Easier said than done.”
At the plate, the Hoyas need to improve their approach to facing pitchers with more than one above-average pitch to avoid the scoring droughts they faced this weekend.
Georgetown has a midweek matchup against Navy to make adjustments and build momentum heading into their next conference matchup.
First pitch for Wednesday’s game against Navy is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, Md.