Early on in the season, the Georgetown baseball team’s toughest opponent has been Mother Nature.

Not only has inclement weather altered the team’s practice routines and cancelled six games, but the poor conditions also played a major factor in the Hoyas’ 9-2 loss to Lehigh on Saturday.

Georgetown (1-2) was forced to relocate last weekend’s series to Virginia Wesleyan in Norfolk because Shirley Povich Field is still feeling the effects of the heavy snowfall that hit the area over President’s Day weekend. Heavy rain and high winds also forced the postponement of the second half of Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader as well as Sunday’s game.

The Hoyas were scheduled to play a three-game series at Davidson two weekends ago, but the blizzard of 2003 prevented the team from traveling to North Carolina. Shirley Povich Field is still in no condition for a baseball game, according to Head Coach Pete Wilk, and Wednesday’s 2:30 p.m. contest against Mount St. ary’s has been postponed.

Wilk said he hopes to reschedule the cancelled games for later in the season, but is unsure how successful the efforts will be.

In addition, this weekend’s Hoya Invitational Tournament may be relocated to Norfolk. Wilk said that both George Mason and Army, who, along with Central Connecticut will compete in the tournament, have agreed to the switch.

Saturday’s game was essentially a wash for Georgetown. Lehigh scored a run in the top of the first inning off junior starter Kevin Field, but Georgetown evened the score in the bottom of the inning. Junior catcher Mike Lombardi drove in junior shortstop Parker Brooks to put the Hoyas on the board, but the game quickly got away from the Hoyas.

Field did not finish the second inning. Lehigh scored four runs to start the inning, and Wilk took Field out of the game with the bases loaded and none out. Freshman Warren Sizemore relieved Field and allowed three more runs in the inning, as the Mountain Hawks took a seven-run lead en route to a 9-2 victory. Field was saddled with his first loss of the season.

Sizemore put together another solid outing, pitching six innings and keeping Lehigh off the board after the second inning.

“He competed his butt off without his best stuff,” Wilk said. “He has pitched well enough to start and he’ll start possibly this weekend, if not, definitely in Florida [over spring break]. He’s earned it.”

The combination of punishing weather and strong pitching from Lehigh starter Jack Muscalus frustrated the Hoyas offensively, as they managed two runs on four hits the entire game.

A bright spot for Georgetown was freshman centerfielder Tim Jones, who played well defensively in what Wilk called “a hurricane” and also earned his first collegiate hit and stolen base, adding a run-batted-in.

Georgetown’s struggles on offense may prompt some changes in the lineup.

“We’ve got a couple if guys who are as deserving to play as some of the guys who are in the lineup,” Wilk said. “This weekend there’ll be a couple different names in that box score, I would think.”

Wilk was less than pleased with the result of Saturday’s game, but understood the reasons for the sub-par performance.

“We played like we’ve been indoors the past two weeks,” Wilk explained. “We’re very limited in what we can do and it rose up and bit us in the butt . it wasn’t a lack of effort, the kids played hard, they just didn’t play well.”

The team has been forced to practice in an indoor facility off campus for most of the early going this season.

“I think we’ve been outside literally five days,” Wilk said. “We’re really rusty, our timing’s off offensively, we haven’t seen too many balls off the bat defensively, and unfortunately the guy with the least amount of adjustments from indoors to outdoors is the pitcher and our pitching has been poor.”

Georgetown was supposed to have played eight games by this point in the season, but has only managed to fit in three. With the Big East opener against Boston College a little more than two weeks away, the Hoyas need to establish a rhythm on offense and get pitchers live-game experience in order to keep improving. Although he realizes the inconvenience of not being able to practice outdoors, Wilk will not use the weather as an excuse.

“You can complain about it or you can just accept it and do the best you can,” Wilk said. “We have been doing the best we can, but if this continues we need to play better baseball than we did last Saturday.”

Georgetown’s next game – weather permitting – should be this weekend as part of the Hoya Invitational Tournament. As of Monday, the location and time for the games had yet to be determined. Updates can be found on www.guhoyas.com.

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