Junior outfielder Michael DeRenzi ranks first on the team with a .398 batting average while hitting a team-high three home runs and driving in 28 runs. (COURTESY GUHOYAS)
Junior outfielder Michael DeRenzi ranks first on the team with a .398 batting average while hitting a team-high three home runs and driving in 28 runs. (COURTESY GUHOYAS)

Navy pitching stifled the Georgetown baseball team last Wednesday at Shirley Povich Field, silencing the Hoyas’ offense in a 6-2 Georgetown loss.

Senior Jake Kuzbel notched his second home run of the season, but it was not enough to overcome the Hoyas’ inconsistent pitching.

“I was disappointed in the entire game, quite frankly,” Georgetown (14-11) Head Coach Pete Wilk said. “I didn’t think our energy was up where it should’ve been, where it needs to be. We overlooked a decent team, despite numerous warnings from the coaching staff not to do so.”

The heart of the order powered the Navy (16-9) offense, with their two, three and four hitters going a combined 10-14 with four runs driven in. Navy’s pitching staff kept Georgetown’s bats quiet all game, with the Hoyas’ scoring coming from a two-run home run from Kuzbel in the 3rd inning.

“The outcome of the game is always the first thing that matters to me. I feel just as good about hitting a home run myself as I do watching a fellow teammate hit one.” Kuzbel said in an email to The Hoya.

Georgetown successfully put its leadoff runners on base in the 7th and 8th innings, but both rallies were erased by a pair of double plays by the Navy defense.

“It’s obviously difficult whenever we hit into double plays, but what I look or, and what the coaching staff looks for, is how we respond to plays like that,” Kuzbel said. “If we bounce back the next inning by putting quality at-bats together and some runs across the board, nobody cares that we hit into double plays from the previous innings.”

Senior pitcher Nick Leonard started the game for the Blue and Gray, going five and two-thirds innings while allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

“Nick needs to be better, he knows that, just wasn’t a good start,” Wilk said. “It wasn’t terrible, by any stretch, it just wasn’t who he usually is.  The bottom line is that he gave us a chance to win, but I guess we expect more out of Nick.  Nick expects more out of himself.”

Despite Wednesday’s loss, Georgetown’s starting pitching has been strong with a 3.32 ERA over the past six games.

“I thought our starters at Brown threw very well. I was very happy. Starting pitching hasn’t been our issue,” Wilk said.

In his last start against the Ivy League’s Brown (6-8), senior pitcher Simon Mathews struck out 10 batters while only allowing two runs over seven innings.  Matthews looks to continue that success against George Mason (9-15, 2-1 A-10) this weekend.

“I think it was one of my better starts of the year just in terms of competitiveness level,” Mathews said. “But on the other hand, any game I start and we don’t win is a disappointment.  I’d like to carry over that competitive factor but sure be able to do more for the team next time.”

The Hoyas are looking to rebound from their loss Wednesday in the upcoming three-game weekend series against the Patriots.

“Going into the weekend, we are looking to get that competitive edge back at the plate,” Kuzbel said. “We have one more practice before our series against George Mason, so we will work hard on the areas that need improving. That begins with having the confidence to go out and win the ball game.”

The series begins with a double header Saturday, with the first game beginning at 12 p.m. followed by the second game at 3p.m.  The series finale will take place Sunday at 1 p.m.  All games will be played at George Mason’s Spuhler Field, with live statistics and streaming available through GUHoyas.com.


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