The Georgetown baseball team swept a home doubleheader against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on April 22 and now looks ahead to a trip to Big East foe St. John’s on Friday. The Hoyas (15-22, 1-8 Big East) beat the Hawks (11-24) by scores of 7-2 and 7-3, respectively.
The Hoyas lost nine of their last 10 games going into the doubleheader. Head Coach Pete Wilk admitted it was nice to finally start adding wins to their record again.
“[The wins] were much needed. We’ve been playing much better as a whole anyway and now it’s nice to have some wins to show that,” Wilk said.
Georgetown’s pitching staff led the way against UMES, anchored by freshman starters Chris Giordano and Nick Leonard. Both turned in five innings of solid work, allowing three runs or fewer and giving the bullpen a much-needed rest.
“To me, the big story on Tuesday was both starts,” Wilk said. “We’re running on fumes right now as a pitching staff, and for Chris and Nick to go out and put up 10 of the 14 innings was huge because our guys in that bullpen have pitched a lot. So for them to put up what they did, guys like [sophomore pitcher] Tim Davis and [junior pitcher] Matt Hollenbeck only got a tuneup, rather than have to put a lot of innings in, which we didn’t want them to have to do with the game coming up on Friday.”
As with most of the season, the Hoya offense was again jump-started by senior first baseman Steve Anderson and sophomore catcher Nick Collins, who was recently named to the weekly Big East Honor Roll for his performance against Seton Hall last weekend. Anderson contributed four base hits and four RBIs against UMES, while Collins added three hits and three RBIs of his own.
“Those guys are having fantastic years, and I think you have to put [junior shortstop Ryan] Busch in that group, too,” Wilk said. “Those three are just having monster years for us. I’m scared to think where we would be without them. And Busch is having a good year defensively too. He made some unbelievable plays yesterday. I really don’t know where we’d be without them.”
The entire Georgetown lineup contributed at the plate, compiling 24 hits in the two games. Busch, senior leftfielder Patrick Camporini, freshman right fielder Joseph Bialkowski and junior third baseman Eric Webber had three base hits apiece as the Hoya offense came through for Wilk.
“It was nice to see Webber get three hits and start to come around offensively. I thought we did a great job offensively yesterday. We had timely hitting, and every time I looked up there seemed to be a guy on second base,” Wilk said.
One of the biggest stories of the last few weeks has been Camporini, who, with his performance against UMES, has now reached base safely in 21 consecutive games. Camporini has not been one of the more heralded players this season, as Busch, Collins and Anderson are all having productive campaigns, but he is quietly putting together a very good season.
“I read about the streak and it kind of shocked me because he was hitting around .350 when we were in Florida and he’s come back to Earth recently,” Wilk said. “I didn’t realize it until I heard it the other day. Even though he’s gone through a bit of a lag swinging the bat, he’s still working his way on base. It’s awesome to see. He’s a great kid.”
Georgetown now has to prepare for St. John’s (24-14, 4-2 Big East) this weekend in the hopes of improving on its last-place Big East record. Sophomore pitcher Matt Smith will start Friday’s game for the Hoyas, as he looks to add to his fantastic season in which injuries to other players forced him to assume the role of staff ace. He has an ERA of 3.90 on the season, and his 3-5 record does not do justice to how well he has pitched.
“He pitched a hell of a game at Creighton [on Apr. 11] where we got beat on a two-out blooper,” Wilk said. “That was only one start ago, and the last start against Seton Hall he pitched well enough for us to win. But every time Matt goes out and throws there’s little room for error because he’s going out against the other team’s ace. We have to get him some run support.”
Freshman pitcher David Ellingson will start Saturday’s game, while Sunday’s series finale starter has yet to be announced. Wilk hopes that this three-game stretch against the Red Storm in Queens, N.Y., will see the Hoyas’ recent winning play continue.
“I just want us to keep playing good baseball,” Wilk said. “I keep going back to the Xavier weekend [April 4-6] where we gave two games up and that’s had an enormously negative impact on where we are in the conference. We got one [win] at Seton Hall [on April 18] and if we can get a couple at St. John’s that would be huge.”