No Break For Georgetown

By Mike Hume Hoya Staff Writer

The Hoya baseball team went 3-6 over the course of spring break. Georgetown came off consecutive losses to George Mason and Air Force to sweep a dramatic doubleheader from Yale. Air Force returned a day later, rallying late to win again and sweep the season series from the Hoyas. Georgetown responded quickly, defeating Howard two days later.

From there it was all downhill for the Hoyas, getting shut out by the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, losing to Howard and enduring a first-rate drubbing by cross-town rival George Washington.

Georgetown struggled to find its game. In their six losses, the Hoyas committed 21 errors and scored 67 runs (52 earned). The pitching staff was put to the test and battered endlessly, including an eight-pitcher combined effort in the 14-0 loss against George Washington.

In the loss to George Mason, the Patriot offense teed-off against Hoya starter Patrick Salvitti, driving in eight runs in his six innings of work. The Patriot staff was nearly the exact opposite, allowing a stingy two runs on four hits. Junior Eric Santana led the limited offense for Georgetown with two hits and one of the Hoya’s two RBIs. Senior Josh Corman plated the other Hoya run.

Georgetown’s offense was again stuck in neutral on March 3, against Air Force. Falcons’ pitcher Matt Kaerchner was dominant, suppressing the Hoyas’ bats and allowing just one run over a solid eight innings of work. The Hoyas were not completely subdued by Kaerchner and managed nine hits, but they could only score one run on an RBI single by freshman shortstop Matt Carullo. All told however, the effort was simply too little to defeat Air Force, who tallied 11 runs on 10 hits off junior starter Matt Arizin and sophomore reliever Paul Perillo.

The Hoyas showed some impressive chops in their doubleheader against Yale. Junior Randy Erwin pitched a gritty game. He went the distance of the shortened doubleheader, holding Yale to one run on four hits over seven innings of work. Georgetown’s offense eked out two runs against an equally tough Yale starter in Matt McCarthy. Corman and junior right fielder Brian Cassese each had an RBI in the victory.

Grit and guts abounded in game two. Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the final inning, the Hoyas rallied for three runs to sweep the doubleheader. Junior center fielder Marc Carlini scored freshman pinch hitter Jason Boice on a triple to deep center field to tie the contest at four. With one out and Carlini on third, junior Jim Vankoski hit a fly ball to shallow left field. Carlini tagged up and sprinted down the line and diving safely into home as the throw went high over the catcher’s head. Sophomore P.J. Martinez picked up the win, pitching the complete seven innings allowing eight hits, four runs and striking out four.

Any sweetness from the consecutive wins turned bitter the following day as the Hoyas squandered a 9-1 lead against Air Force. Georgetown got off to a quick start, pouncing on the Falcon pitching for eight runs in the first three innings and an eight-run cushion by the sixth. The explosion was fueled by freshman Jason Boice and sophomore Jon Blodgett who each smacked their second homers of the season.

However, the Hoyas simply could not hold on. Air Force Head Coach Reed Peters opened his mouth one too many times to the umpiring crew and was ejected in the sixth inning. The emotion caught on in Peters’ dugout however as Air Force rose from the ashes, striking back for 11 runs and capturing what can only be described as a painful game for Georgetown fans.

Vankoski and Santana made sure that the crushing loss would not be repeated in their next game against Howard. Both had two hits and two RBIs and junior Keith Asato went two for three at the plate as the Hoyas downed the Howard Bison by a 6-1 margin. Salvitti started on the mound for Georgetown and combined with Perillo to hold the Bison to one run on six hits.

Following the solid victory against Howard, it was all downhill for the Hoyas. Georgetown starter Matt Arizin turned in a respectable performance allowing 10 hits, no earned runs and three strikeouts in seven innings of work. Unfortunately, the Hoyas committed four errors, enabling UMBC to score nine runs, all unearned. After putting up nine runs by the fifth inning, the contest was never really in question. UMBC pitcher Ray Hall erased any doubt, hurling a four-hit masterpiece and earning the complete-game shutout for the Retrievers.

Georgetown’s woes continued as it traveled downtown and again faced Howard. The Bison scored early, capitalizing on Georgetown’s inability to make plays, scoring seven runs in the first five innings, only four of them earned. The Hoyas offense attempted to rally and salvage the win. Boice and Santana again turned in big performances going two for two and three for three respectively, with Blodgett going two for four with two doubles. When all was said and done, the Hoyas could not pull it back within reach and succumbed 8-4 to give Howard the first win of their season.

Things did not improve any when the Hoyas returned to their home field to take on the Colonials of George Washington. GW scored 14 runs on 16 hits off eight Georgetown pitchers. Salvitti started before he was relieved with one out in the second inning by Erwin after yielding seven runs on eight hits. Erwin pitched until the end of the third inning when he was succeeded by Arizin. None of the Hoya pitchers lasted longer than two innings.

One of the lone bright spots over the stretch for the Hoyas was the play of freshman Jason Boice. Boice earned the honor of Big East Rookie of the Week for the week ending March 5 by batting .400 with four RBIs and two runs scored. This is Boice’s second consecutive week earning the award and has since continued to light it up offensively going five for 10 with two runs scored and one RBI.

The Hoyas went on to lose their fourth straight game against Big East competition yesterday when a Georgetown error let in the winning run in the ninth for a 5-4 C.W. Post victory. Georgetown got off to a strong start with a RBI single from Vankoski, who later scored off a Pioneer error. Corman picked up an RBI in the second with a sacrifice fly scoring Catalano.

The Pioneers, however, made an equally strong comeback in the fifth, taking a 4-3 lead with the help of a two-run homerun. Georgetown appeared to have a chance when an RBI walk from Carlini tied the game at 4-4, but C.W. Post took home the win on a Hoya error in the ninth. Georgetown twice failed to drive in any runs with the bases loaded, leaving 10 men stranded throughout the game. Perillo picked up the loss following a 5-1/3 inning performance by artinez, who allowed nine hits and three earned runs.

The stretch leaves the Hoyas with a 9-12 record. Georgetown will begin conference play this weekend with a three-game series away at Rutgers.

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