After a three-game series against St. Mary’s in California last weekend and a game against George Washington on Tuesday, the Georgetown baseball team (19-11, 3-3) returns to Big East play and the friendly confines of Shirley Povich Field for a duel with St. John’s.

The team struggled hitting the ball Friday against the Gaels, managing only one run off of junior starting pitcher Ben Griset, who hurled a complete game. Senior outfielder Justin Leeson led theHoyas with two of the team’s four hits, but that wasn’t nearly enough to match the six runs put up by the opposing lineup.

Saturday wasn’t much better for the Hoyas, as the team managed only one run yet again. “Friday night, we ran into a really good pitcher, and he shut us down,” Head Coach Pete Wilk said. “Saturday we had a lot of chances to score, [but] we hit the ball hard right at people. They didn’t drop — we didn’t score.”  Undeterred, Georgetown looked to come home with at least one win when it took the field again Sunday.

With the Blue and Gray down 5-3 going into the seventh inning, a single from senior third baseman Trevor Matern cut the lead to one. Then, in the eighth, a double from junior outfielder Christian Venditti loaded the bases for the Hoyas, who left the inning on top 6-5. The contest would end up going to extra innings, and senior outfielder Justin Leeson eventually hit an RBI double with two outs to put Georgetown up 7-6 in the top of the eleventh, and freshman pitcher Gino Basso secured the win by retiring the side in the bottom of the inning.

“Sunday, we won a hell of a baseball game,” Wilk said.

Back at home on Tuesday, the team blew out cross-town rivals George Washington (9-23, 3-6) with a score of 9-1.

“They’re going through a coaching change over there — they aren’t the team they used to be, but they will be again,” Wilk said of the Colonials.

Despite those extenuating circumstances for GW, the win was a big one for Georgetown. Led by Matern and freshman catcher Nick Collin, the Hoyas posted 13 hits and nine runs in one of their best offensive performances of the season. Defensively, five pitchers combined to allow only one run on two hits, as freshman pitcher Jordan Chudacoff picked up his second collegiate win in five innings of work. And Tuesday’s offensive outburst aside, Wilk explained, the difference between this year’s team and last year’s team comes down to pitching.

“We’re pitching better. We’re pitching a hell of a lot better, and that’s the name of the game,” he said.

Georgetown will look to keep its success on the mound going throughout the coming weekend, as the Blue and Gray will host Big East opponent St. John’s (13-20, 3-6) in a three-game series starting Friday.

“It’s going be a big one,” said Wilk about the series against the Red Storm. “Every Big East weekend is big for us, but this one can get the momentum back on our side in the conference.”

The Hoyas have now won 13 of its last 18 games, but if the team hopes to continue what it is doing, it will need help from everyone on the roster, according to Wilk. “If [the team] is going do anything, it’s got to be a 34-person job,” he said. “No one guy is gonna put the team on his shoulders.”

First pitch against St. John’s is slated for 3 p.m. today.

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