After a tough weekend in which the team dropped two out of three games to Creighton (17-9, 2-1 Big East), the Georgetown baseball team (14-14, 1-2 Big East) quickly jumped ahead of Coppin State (2-23-1, 1-11 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) on Tuesday by putting up seven runs in the first two innings en route to a 10-4 victory.
Junior catcher Nick Collins shined in the series against Creighton and in the victory over Coppin State. In four games, he batted .600 (9-for-15) with a .667 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage. He had one home run, three doubles and five RBIs during that stretch.Head Coach Pete Wilk, who thought Collins had a somewhat slow start to the season, has now seen his veteran player hit his stride.
“[Nick Collins] has been Nick,” Wilk said. “He’s one of the best guys in the league and he’s playing like it now.”
Freshman right-hander Jimmy Swad got the starting nod on Tuesday, pitching three innings of one-run ball and earning his team-leading fourth win of the season. Junior right-hander Tim Davis and sophomore right-handers Simon Mathews, Nick Leonard and David Ellington each threw scoreless innings of relief.
“[Swad] gives us the chance to win when we do start him in the mid-week,” Wilk said.
Junior center fielder Evan Ryan led the offense with three hits and an RBI. Sophomore third baseman Jake Kuzbel drove in two runs on two hits, and senior shortstop Ryan Busch and freshman right fielder Michael DeRenzi also recorded two hits each. The Hoyas’ offense finished with 10 runs on 13 hits in the game.
Busch was hit by a pitch to lead off the game. He then advanced to second on a throwing error and moved to third on Collins’ fielder’s choice. Senior first baseman AC Carter singled in Busch for the first run of the game, and Collins eventually came around to score on a wild pitch that put the Blue and Gray up 2-0.
Five more players scored in the second inning when the Hoyas batted around. DeRenzi contributed a sacrifice fly, and Kuzbel added a two-run double. After advancing on a double steal, Kuzbel scored on a wild pitch. Sophomore left-fielder Joseph Bialkowski completed the rally with a sacrifice fly to score Collins and build the Hoyas’ lead to 7-0. The outcome was never in doubt in the later innings.
“We hit really well,” Ryan said. “It was good to see the offense back out there especially after not scoring many this weekend.”
The Eagles matched the Hoyas’ 13 hits in the loss, but Georgetown’s pitching limited Coppin State to four runs.
“We made big pitches when we had to,” Wilk said. “[Mathews] came in, bases loaded, nobody out, and got out of it.”
Prior to its 10-4 victory over Coppin State, Georgetown opened up Big East play with a home series against Creighton on April 2. The Hoyas won the first game of the three-game series behind senior left-handed pitcher Matt Hollenbeck’s strong performance. He pitched six plus innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits and recorded six strikeouts. Carter hit an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, which was the deciding run as the Hoyas triumphed 4-3.
“We’ve been telling our guys [that they] can play with anybody in the country and they’ve proven it,” Wilk said.
In spite of its initial success against Creighton, Georgetown was unable to secure the series victory. In the second matchup between the two teams, the Blue Jays scored all four of their runs after a miscommunication on a fly ball to top the Hoyas 4-2.
Just a few hours later in the second game of the doubleheader, Georgetown was down 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth. The Hoyas almost completed the comeback after scoring two runs in that inning, but they left the bases loaded to end the game and fell by a final score at 4-3.
“Hopefully, [those games were] a confidence builder,” Wilk said. “Only coming away with one was a very big disappointment because I really thought we outplayed them.”
After the brief break from conference play, Georgetown is back against Big East opponents when it faces Villanova (12-15) this weekend.
“If we play like we did against Creighton, we are going to be really happy with the results,” Wilk said.The first pitch in Philadelphia on Friday is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. The games on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 1:15 p.m.
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