BASEBALL | GU Seeks Greener Pastures After Opening Letdown
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 02:02
Especially given the snow that blanketed the field during the Georgetown baseball team’s opening weekend, the Blue and Gray’s performance through its first two contests could be described as flaky at best. Now looking to turn things around, Georgetown (0-2) travels to North Carolina today to face Davidson and Lafayette in this weekend’s Davidson Tournament.
The Hoyas began their season with high hopes last weekend but failed to perform, losing to Wofford 6-5 in extra innings and UNC Asheville 7-4. As Head Coach Pete Wilk emphasized, there can be no such repeat performance at Davidson.
“We played poorly. Defensively, offensively, you name it,” Wilk said.
In the Wofford game last Friday, Georgetown fell behind 5-1 before storming back in a bizarre seventh inning that featured two walks, a hit-by-pitch and only one hit — a two-run triple by senior centerfielder Justin Leeson. After three scoreless innings from senior pitcher Neal Dennison, who Wilk cited as the highlight of an otherwise “OK to bad” pitching weekend, Georgetown failed to capitalize on a chance to take the lead when junior right fielder Christian Venditti grounded out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.
Wofford capitalized immediately, walking off on a tenth-inning sacrifice bunt.
“I was proud of the way we competed and came back, but it shouldn’t have been that close,” Wilk said. “We did a nice job of coming back, but we gave them the game.”
The game against UNC Asheville on Saturday featured a bizarre ending, as the uncharacteristic snow forced the game to be called during the seventh inning. Georgetown took leads at 1-0 and 4-3, but UNC Asheville took the lead for good in the fourth inning when a Hoya defensive implosion resulted in three unearned runs. The Blue and Gray were then given no opportunity to bounce back, as the snowstorm ended the game prematurely.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think we were going to drive eight-and-a-half hours south and get snow,” Wilk said.
Due to the wintry weather, Georgetown’s scheduled Sunday game against USC Upstate was cancelled outright.
Although the Hoyas failed to deliver in several major aspects of the game over the weekend, their struggles can first and foremost be chalked up to poor defensive execution. Wilk attributed these difficulties to a lack of preparation in using proper facilities during the offseason.
“This is going to sound like an excuse, but it’s not meant to sound that way,” Wilk said. “Until we had gone down there, we had spikes in our own dirt, which was soft and slow, three times. We went down there and it was fast — both infields were fast — and we were not prepared to play on them. I think if we played those teams two weeks from now, we’d beat them both.”
This weekend, Georgetown will need to tighten up its play if it hopes to come out victorious in its two games against Davidson (2-1) and its one against Lafayette (0-0).
Wilk noted that Davidson, coming off a sweep of George Washington last weekend, should be beatable for Georgetown on Friday and Sunday.
“Davidson never beats themselves, they’re well-coached and they seem to always know who they are and what they do well,” Wilk said. “They will not beat themselves — we’ll have to beat them. But it can be done.”
On Saturday, the Hoyas will hope to avoid the fate of the men’s lacrosse team, which lost an overtime heartbreaker to Lafayette last weekend. The baseball Leopards will be playing their first game of the season and will likely need to shake off some early-season rust, just as Georgetown did last weekend.
“Lafayette is always a wild card, and I don’t know what we’re going to get out of them,” Wilk said. “We’re better than them on paper, but the game isn’t played on paper.”
In a perfect world, Georgetown would earn a sweep this weekend and return home with a winning record. However, Wilk emphasized that the Hoyas will require some time — and game experience — before they will be able to hit their stride.
“We’ll probably tweak the lineup here or there,” he said. “We just simply need to play and we need to get our reps. We’ve got a pretty talented team, and we need to play the game with spikes and dirt in baseball-conducive weather. And these issues will be ironed out with reps.”