The Georgetown baseball team (18-11, 3-3 Big East) is nearing the midpoint of its Big East schedule, but instead of facing a conference foe this past weekend, the team ventured almost 2,500 miles to Moraga, Calif., for a three-game series against the St. Mary’s Gaels (11-21, 2-4 WCC).

The Hoyas struggled to get their offense going and dropped the first two games of the series 6-1 and 4-1, respectively, but rallied Sunday afternoon to pull out an exciting 7-6 win in 11 innings.

There were no signs of jetlag for the Blue and Gray early on in the series opener, as the team put runners on the corners in the top of the first after back-to-back singles by seniors Trevor Matern and Justin Leeson. A balk by St. Mary’s starting pitcher Ben Griset (3-2, 1.44 ERA) then scored Matern to give the Hoyas an early 1-0 lead.

Griset recovered well from his mistake and proceeded to retire the next eight batters he faced, as Georgetown couldn’t manage another hit until the fifth inning.

“Ben Griset was pretty damn good,” Head Coach Pete Wilk said. “If he’s around after the 10th round [in this spring’s MLB draft], I’ll eat my hat.”

Redshirt sophomore Jack Vander Linden (2-1, 3.28 ERA) got the start for the Blue and Gray but struggled to find his form early on. The first five Gael batters reached base, and, by the end of the first inning, the Hoyas were staring down a 4-1 deficit.

Vander Linden settled down after that, though, going seven innings and allowing only one more run, but the Georgetown offense could muster only two more hits after the first inning to allow the Gaels to take the game 6-1.

Senior Thomas Polus (2-3, 4.72 ERA) took the mound for the Hoyas when the squad returned to the field on Saturday, but he lasted only four innings while allowing four runs (three earned) and striking out four.

The lone run on the day for the Hoyas came in the top of the third. Freshman shortstop Curtiss Pomeroy drew a leadoff walk and ultimately scored on a throwing error by St. Mary’s senior catcher Riley Heinzer.

It was the second straight game without an RBI for Georgetown.

The best chance to tie the game for the Blue and Gray came when they loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but they were unable to capitalize. Georgetown subsequently went down 1-2-3 in the ninth and dropped the game 4-1.

“Saturday’s game was a frustrating one,” Wilk said. “We didn’t make the adjustments offensively we needed to make, and that’s why we lost.”

The series finale on Sunday was a back-and-forth affair.

St. Mary’s jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first off of sophomore starter Matt Hollenbeck (1-3, 4.35 ERA), but the Hoyas rallied, scoring two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. The Gaels struck back with four runs in the bottom half of the sixth, seizing a 5-3 lead and ending Hollenbeck’s day in the process.

Once again, the Hoyas fought back, taking a 6-5 lead with one run in the seventh and two in the eighth. Senior reliever Charlie Steinman was unable to hold the lead in the bottom of the eighth, however, allowing a St. Mary’s sacrifice fly to tie the game.

Knotted at six after nine innings, the game headed to extras. After a scoreless tenth inning, Georgetown staged a dramatic two-out rally in the eleventh. Matern reached base on an error and proceeded to steal second to set the stage for an RBI double by Leeson for what proved to be the game-winning run of a 7-6 victory.

“That was a big win, especially the way we did it,” Wilk said. “The kids could’ve caved any time and chalked it up to the [travel], but they showed a lot of character coming back and getting our RBIs when we needed them.”

Georgetown returns to action at 3 p.m. Tuesday against George Washington. Having defeated the Colonials 10-4 on March 19, the Hoyas will look to complete the season sweep.

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