Hoyas Get First Conference Win

Big East Record Improves to 1-11 with Win Over Johnnies

By Sean Gormley and Mike Hume Hoya Staff Writers

This weekend started off with more of the same, as the Georgetown baseball lost two games to Big East foe St. John’s on Saturday, but Georgetown finally found their way into the win column in Big East play with a 4-2 victory Sunday.

The victory ended a 29-game Big East losing streak by the Hoyas that extended back to April 7, 1999 and ended a 10-game overall losing streak for the team. Junior pitcher Randy Erwin led the Hoyas in victory, pitching nine innings while only giving up two runs, with the help of an errorless defense behind him.

Saturday, however, held to the common theme of late, with the Red Storm victimizing the Hoyas’ pitching staff. St. John’s broke the game open early off junior Jim Vankoski scoring three runs in the first before adding five more to take an 8-2 lead after four innings.

Big East Pitcher of the Week St. John’s Kevin McGerry handled Georgetown offensively, holding the Hoyas to four runs off seven hits while going the distance for the Storm.

The Hoyas offense attempted to close the gap, scoring two runs in the sixth, but the differential was simply too great as the Red Storm prevailed 15-4 after throwing salt onto Georgetown’s wounds by tagging sophomore Paul Perillo for seven more runs in the fifth and sixth.

Vankoski (2-3, run scored), and juniors Eric Santana (1-for-2, RBI, 2 runs), and Brian Cassese (2-for-3, RBI) provided the majority of the run support for Georgetown in game one.

Game two was close early, but St. John’s pulled away to take game two, again by the margin of 15-4. Georgetown scored early, capitalizing on two St. John’s errors and a Jason Boice home run, his third of the year, to tie the game at three heading into the bottom of the second inning. But the Red Storm bats proved to be too much as St. John’s answered with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning off junior starting pitcher Matt Arizin to pull away for good. St. John’s would later ice the game with seven more runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Georgetown’s offense could not break the four run barrier for the third time in three games. The Hoyas stranded 10 runners on the way to the loss, including coming up empty after getting the first two batters aboard in the fourth. Junior Marc Carlini and Boice had the only RBI, for the Hoyas while Vankoski went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

Despite the Hoyas inability to score more than four runs for the fourth consecutive game, Georgetown ended a long winless drought with their 4-2 victory on Sunday. A total team effort led the Hoyas to victory at St .John’s, with the defense having one of their finest performances of the season, while pitcher Erwin had a strong performance and the offense came up clutch for the first time in recent memory.

Erwin led the way with a complete game, striking out four while allowing only two runs on nine hits, giving the rest of the beleaguered Hoya pitching staff a rest. Junior second baseman Jay Catalano opened up the scoring with his first home run of the year in the third inning, but St. John’s quickly tied the game at one in the bottom of the inning.

The fourth was much of the same, with Vankoski scoring on a single by Cassese only to see the Red Storm tie the game up again in the bottom of the inning. The top of the fifth proved to be the difference in the game, however, as freshman shortstop Matt Carullo singled in junior catcher Pat Wade and a sacrifice fly by Vankoski brought home Catalano for a 4-2 lead.

Erwin cruised the rest of the way, pitching five additional shutout innings to raise his record on the season to 4-4 and helping Georgetown to remember what it’s like to be in the win column after a long drought.

The Hoyas have been outscored 153-69 since their 2-17 slide began March 8 and 91-36 by Big East opponents this year. In addition, through April 2, Big East teams are batting a robust .311 against the Hoya pitching staff, while Georgetown’s team average stands at a mere .206 with no single Georgetown player above .300 against conference pitching.

Part of the large differential could very well be attributed to fatigue on the part of the Hoya’s pitchers. Injuries and a thin bullpen have left Georgetown scrambling for pitchers and in turn, Head Coach Pete Wilk has had to ride his starters deep into games. Four Hoya starters – Erwin, Arizin, P.J. Martinez and Vankoski – are in the top 10 in the Big East in innings pitched. Also, the Hoyas have played 35 games thus far this season, with several more postponed due to inclement conditions. This total leads the Big East, with Pittsburgh the next closest with 30 games played.

The Hoyas will continue their road trip against Mount St. Mary’s and UMES, before heading to Philadelphia to take on Villanova for a three-game set. The Hoyas next home game is April 18 against cross-town rival George Washington, a team that battered the Hoyas 14-0 in their first meeting earlier this season.

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