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

Georgetown Blasts Over .500

It took a few false starts, but finally the pitching and offense came together to deliver a winning weekend for the Hoya baseball team.

A three-game sweep of St. Joseph’s propelled the Georgetown baseball team from a 1-3 to a 4-3 record in the Hoyas’ first series at its home park, Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, Md. St. Joseph’s, meanwhile, stays winless, now at 0-6.

“I think a sweep – no matter who you’re playing – is a very difficult thing to attain, so we’re very pleased with three wins,” Georgetown Head Coach Pete Wilk said. “We had to get back on the horse, and we did.”

The Hoyas have freshmen pitchers Andy Ferich and Darren Sizemore to thank for that. Both earned wins in their first collegiate starts last weekend – Ferich on Sunday, Sizemore in Saturday’s second game – and both showed outstanding promise.

Ferich started out a little shaky, allowing a run to score and the bases to load before recording the first out. But he calmed down to strike out the next two batters. A controversial call on the 2-2 pitch prevented Ferich from striking out three in a row, but he got the batter to fly out to right field on the next pitch to end the frame with the score at 1-0.

“He got himself out of a real big mess,” Wilk said. “That was an outstanding job. It showed a lot of character and a lot of guts.”

Ferich went on to fan a total of 11 batters. He worked for eight-plus innings, totaling 115 pitches.

The Hoyas weren’t the only ones unhappy with the umpiring. St. Joe’s Head Coach Jim Penders was ejected in the top of the third inning for arguing with the infield ump on a botched steal attempt. Ferich tried to pick off Hawk junior third baseman Adriano Petrutz on first, but the Georgetown first baseman threw to the shortstop as Petrutz was on his way to second, and the shortstop tagged Petrutz out in a close play at the bag.

Georgetown earned its three runs – one in the second and two in the seventh – with small ball. Though St. Joe’s threatened with a run in the top of the ninth, Georgetown sophomore reliever Dan Kennedy came through with the save, and the Hoyas won 3-2.

“We all worked together as a team today, and everything came together, and we got the win,” Ferich said. “We got three wins this weekend – can’t ask for anything more.”

Sizemore put in a respectable effort of his own on Saturday, striking out five in Georgetown’s 6-4 win. He kept the Hawk bats relatively quiet through the first five innings, allowing one run and one hit. But sophomore center fielder Jeremy Jakubowski led off the sixth with a home run, and a couple of errors and some hits later St. Joe’s had two more runs on the board. The Hawks posted one more run after sophomore Grady McConnell came in, but it was not enough to overcome the Hoyas.

Georgetown junior catcher Brandon Davis recovered from a 0-for-4 outing in the first game to go 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs in the chaser.

Junior center fielder Mark McLaughlin was the hero in the first game, giving the Hoyas a 4-3 victory on a walk-off home run.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, McLaughlin said he was looking for a fastball, and he got it, sending the ball over the left-field fence – an opposite-field homer for the left-hander.

“It was my first walk-off home run, so it felt pretty good,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin and senior right fielder Timmy Jones each had two stolen bases in the game as well, but Jones’ weekend was derailed when he twisted his ankle Saturday afternoon. Jones should be back in the lineup by about the end of the week.

Though sophomore lefty Mike Gaggioli spent seven innings on the mound, striking out six while giving up eight hits and three earned runs, Kennedy earned the win in relief.

The series sweep gives the Hoyas a big confidence boost as they head into spring break, when the team will hit California’s Bay Area for an eight-game barnstorming trip.

But first Georgetown will head to George Mason (3-5) on Tuesday. A home game at Navy (8-2-1) follows on Thursday.

“I know we need to play with more intensity,” Wilk said. “We’re going to see a lot better pitching than [St. Joe’s], and we need to produce more offensively than we have, but I think we will. The more at bats that we’re getting, the better we will be.”

First pitch against the George Mason Patriots will be at 2:30 p.m. in Fairfax, Va.

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