Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Baseball Team Plays for Love of Game

A year before pro baseball returned to the District, club baseball was born on the Hilltop.

As founder and captain of Georgetown’s club baseball team, Jonny Rogers (COL ’07), who played baseball in high school, is intent on offering a place for players of all skills and experiences to play competitive baseball against other schools.

“Everybody on my team gets to play. [If] you come to practice, you come to the games, and I put you in. That’s something you will not find in any other club baseball team in the country,” Rogers said.

Several players, old and new, give reason to be optimistic for this season’s performance. Mike Duganezic (MSB ’06), who has played with the team since its inception last year, is considered by Rogers to be this season’s best pitcher.

“He’s a tall lefty pitcher, and other teams have trouble with him,” he said. “Pretty much everybody he faces he pitches effectively against.”

Matt Engler (SFS ’08) joined the team this year, and his seven-inning pitching performance at a recent game against Delaware elicited similar praise from Rogers.

Over three-quarters of this year’s players are sophomores or freshmen, following the departure of three senior players last year.

“Younger kids have to learn to adjust to throwing to college players,” Rogers said. “Adjusting to the college level is the biggest challenge.”

Like other club sports at Georgetown, the baseball team is plagued by a lack of suitable practice facilities. “We don’t have any practice field. . We practice on Kehoe [Field] three times a week for about two hours,” Rogers said. “There’s only so much you can do on a turf field, baseball fields are not as predictable as turf fields.”

One unexpected challenge for the team, according to Rogers, is its academically-minded players.

“I’d say our other big disadvantage is that at other schools, club baseball is a primary [activity] for other schools’ people, whereas at GU the first priority is up to academics,” he said.

But Rogers, along with his assistant Will Davis (COL ’07), place emphasis on having fun.

“It’s a competitive team that we try to take seriously, but we’re all so very focused on having fun and enjoying baseball,” Rogers said. “I bet you no one cares as much as I do that people get much playing time, and that people get a fair amount of playing time, and that our team is geared more towards having fun than winning as many games as possible.”

Despite having lost to Delaware 0-3 in the first three games of the season, the prospects of players like Duganezic and Engler will make teams in the Northern Mid-Atlantic Conference of the National Club Baseball Association compete with a passionate Georgetown team ambitious to win. Georgetown faces Maryland, George Washington, Loyola, Delaware and Mt. St. Mary’s this season.

“I’d encourage [new players] to come out if they enjoy baseball,” Rogers said. “It’s not stressful, not extremely time consuming, but it is competitive, and we are serious.”

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