Louisville entered the 2009 baseball season as the favorite to win the Big East. The Cardinals touted the No. 23 spot in the national rankings had a third-baseman (junior Chris Dominguez) who turned down a fifth-round selection in the MLB draft by the Rockies. It was all about the Cardinals in 2009.

The Hoyas, on the other hand, were building their program to become a contender within the Big East, steps behind the Cardinal’s baseball program. Yet Georgetown came away with a 1-2 record in their split with Louisville this past weekend, in Kentucky no less, putting them just a game behind Louisville in the Big East conference. While it’s still too early in the season to tell which team is in the front of the pack – each Big East team has only played three conference games so far – that win could prove vital for the Hoyas as they aim for a berth in the Big East tournament.

“Georgetown will make a presence this year in the Big East the same way we did this weekend with our win in Louisville,” co-captain and senior centerfielder Tommy Lee said. Lee reached base eight times in 14 plate appearances in the weekend series as the leadoff hitter for Georgetown. He is first on the team in hits (27) and stolen bases (13).

The Hoyas will have to work hard to make that presence felt over the next week, with a tough stretch coming up in the Big East. They’ll play the first two games of a series against St. John’s, the returning Big East champion and 3-0 this year, at home and then travel to New York, where they’ll face off at Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets, to play the first ever game in the new ballpark. After that, they’ll face 3-0 West Virginia before USF, also 3-0.

While the Hoyas played well against Louisville, there are some things they need to work on. First of all, the Hoyas averaged almost five runs a game against the Cardinals pitching staff, but have a tendency to leave men on base, including 14 in their 16-6 loss to Louisville on Sunday.

The Hoyas, on average, leave nine men on base per game, meaning one per inning.

While Georgetown’s offense has not been a point of weakness this season, driving in a few more of those runners could definitely add more potency to the lineup. Additionally, Georgetown’s defense has been an area of weakness in some games, including their Big East opener against Louisville on Friday.

That game saw the Hoyas get dropped 8-3, in a pitching battle between the Cardinal’s junior pitcher Justin Marks, the preseason pick for Big East Pitcher of the Year, and the Hoyas’ junior pitcher Tim Adleman. Marks was outstanding, striking out 11 batters and allowing just one run over seven innings. Adleman, however, also pitched at a high level, starting the game off with six consecutive outs. A sloppy third inning, however, saw Louisville score four unearned runs. The Cardinals would have five unearned runs in all due to errors in the field on Georgetown’s part. Adleman (0-3), though saddled with his third loss, went seven innings, striking out five, walking just one batter and allowing only two earned runs.

“With the way Adleman pitched Friday, we could’ve taken two games to be honest,” senior co-captain and catcher Greg Pustizzi said. “Starting the conference season against arguably the toughest four teams in the conference is going to be tough, but we proved to ourselves and the rest of the league that we are going to be a tough team to play. Our team seems to play to the level of competition, which may have hurt us earlier this year, but could be a real bonus for us in a conference with a high level of competition.”

The Hoyas seemed to play to their competition on Saturday, taking away a hard fought 5-4 win. In the sixth, the Hoyas were tied 1-1, when some Blue and Gray small ball started a four-run rally. Three consecutive bunts and a walk loaded the bases for Georgetown. Then sophomore catcher Erick Fernandez, leading the team in batting average (.388) delivered with an RBI single. Two batters later, a wild pitch made the score 3-1, after which sophomore Dan Godefroi launched a two-run double to make it a 5-1 game. Freshman starting pitcher Will Harris went 7 and 1/3 innings for his second win of the season, striking out four Cardinals in an outstanding performance. Senior pitcher Jimmy Saris closed out the game for his first save of the season and a Hoya victory, ending their six-game losing streak to Louisville.

Up next for the Hoyas are consecutive home games against George Washington today at 3 p.m. and against Navy tomorrow, also at 3 p.m. at Shirley Povich field in Maryland.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.