Diligent preparation is an integral component of any athletic endeavor. In order to achieve a high degree of success in the sports world, it is crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of your opponent.
With this idea in mind, the Hoyas headed into the weekend readily equipped to face off against the NYIT Bears. Georgetown, however, was thrown quite a nasty curveball.
The Bears were forced to remain in hibernation this weekend, as exceedingly inclement weather in the Northeast prevented them from traveling south to play the Hoyas. Fortunately, however, Georgetown was able to adapt quickly to the unforeseen circumstances. The team managed to squeeze in a three-game series against a very talented George Mason squad in light of the cancellation of the NYIT series.
“I don’t care who we’re playing,” said Head Coach Pete Wilk, who is entering his 11th season at the helm. “We’ve got to play baseball,” Wilk added. “We’ve got to put our spikes in the dirt and play a game.”
Though the impromptu series was certainly unexpected, the Hoyas did not seem too perturbed by the change of plans.
Evidently unfazed, the Blue and Gray concluded the weekend by taking two out of three from the Patriots. With the series victory the Hoyas improved their record to 4-2, building on their opening series against Davidson in which they also took two of three.
Late-inning heroics were rather common among Georgetown batsmen this weekend, as both victories against the Patriots were due to clutch Hoya hitting.
In the first game of Saturday’s double-header, freshman Corbin Blakey picked a convenient time to record his first collegiate hit. In the bottom of the eighth inning of a regularly scheduled seven-inning game, Blakey ripped a single past the Patriot infield, scoring pinch-runner freshman Justin Leeson to give the Hoyas the final 5-4 advantage.
The nightcap rendered an eerily similar result. Although the Hoyas once again needed extra innings to seal the deal, the Blue and Gray once again capitalized on timely hitting. This time around, senior center fielder Tommy Lee played the role of hero, building on junior first basman Dan Capeless’ bases-loaded walk with a two-out, bases-clearing triple in the top of the 10th inning to give the Hoyas an 8-4 win.
Freshman Neal Dennison came on in relief to pitch four-and-one-third innings in which he struck out six batters, earning his first collegiate win. Junior Jared Cohen recorded two strikeouts in the 10th to earn the save.
Wilk was thoroughly impressed with Lee’s play throughout the series, as both his outstanding hitting and exceptional fielding were essential ingredients in the Hoyas’ recipe for success this weekend.
“Tommy Lee probably had the biggest hit of the weekend,” Wilk said. “The triple with two outs that took us from a one-run lead to a four-run lead where you had some breathing room was huge. He also saved the game with a phenomenal catch.”
Despite Saturday’s sweep, Georgetown was unable to replicate a winning formula on Sunday, narrowly dropping the final game to the Patriots by a score of 9-8. Down 9-3 in the sixth inning, the Hoyas stormed back furiously, falling just short of a miraculous comeback. The rally commenced in the bottom of the sixth, as Capeless powered a two-run homer over the wall, cutting the lead to 9-5. After a scoreless seventh, the Blue and Gray were able to tack on two more runs in the eighth, cutting the deficit to two runs.
A Capeless single in the ninth drove in another run and put runners on the corners, slicing the lead to only one run and placing the tying run in scoring position. But Georgetown was unable to mount yet another come-from-behind victory, as it failed to bring the tying run across the plate.
For Wilk, the first six games of the season have been a resounding success.
“I’ve been pleased with these guys,” Wilk said. “We played hard in all six games we’ve played. Three of them have been comebacks. How can you not be pleased at this point?”
Despite singing the praises of his squad, Wilk also noted that the Hoyas still have a long way to go. The Georgetown skipper seemed confident in the team’s ability to progress throughout the year.
“I’d like to see us pitch better,” he said. “I’d like to see us play a little better defense, and I think we will. We have the ability to, so we just need some experience.”
The Hoyas return to action today, as they travel to Norfolk, Va., to face off against the Norfolk State Spartans.