BASEBALL | Hot Bats Drive Two Wins
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 01:03
Twenty-seven runs in two games.
Thanks to some incredibly hot bats and some suspect opposing pitching, the Georgetown baseball team (14-6) extended its winning streak to seven in defeating George Washington and Maryland Eastern Shore by scores that would seem more appropriate on the gridiron. After walloping the Colonials 10-4 on Tuesday, the Hoyas held off the Hawks 17-15 on Wednesday in a back-and-forth slugfest that served as Georgetown’s final tune-up before UConn comes to town this weekend for the Blue and Gray’s first Big East series.
In the win over GW, Georgetown put up what was then its largest run total of the season. The record would last all of one day; the Hoyas’ 17 runs Wednesday were the most they have scored since a 17-run performance against Coppin State last February and their most in a road game since March of 2011 against — again — Coppin State.
“I’m pleased with the production,” Head Coach Pete Wilk said. “We’ve done what we should have done facing the level of pitching that we’ve faced. But you are talking about different worlds when you’re talking about GW and UMES versus UConn [this weekend].”
The Hoyas received solid production from the entire lineup in the two wins, as seven players recorded multiple RBIs in at least one of the two games. Sophomore shortstop Ryan Busch led the way despite hitting ninth in the order, hitting a two-run double against GW and going 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and four RBIs against UMES.
The outcome of Tuesday’s game was in little doubt from the start as Georgetown posted six runs in the third inning, highlighted by Busch’s double. With the comfortable lead, freshman starting pitcher Matt Smith (2-0) coasted, allowing four runs (two earned) in six innings of work. Although Georgetown scored 10 runs in the game, only three of them were earned, as George Washington’s shoddy defense led to five errors, effectively handing the game to the Hoyas.
While Georgetown never trailed against GW, Wednesday’s game featured multiple lead changes and a spirited UMES comeback in the ninth inning. After freshman designated hitter Curtiss Pomeroy — who went 3-for-5 in the game with two RBIs — scored on a wild pitch in the first inning and senior third baseman Trevor Matern helped the Hoyas score two more with an RBI single in the second, Maryland Eastern Shore responded by hammering Georgetown freshman starting pitcher Jordan Chudacoff for six runs in the bottom of the second inning. Chudacoff — making his second start of the season — only lasted three innings as Georgetown rested its key starters for the coming series against UConn.
After losing the lead, the Blue and Gray responded by scoring seven runs over the fourth and fifth innings. After Busch homered in the sixth and Georgetown added another five runs in the seventh, the Hoyas appeared to have the game won handily with a 17-9 lead. However, the Hawks tacked one on in the bottom of the seventh and pounced in the ninth, posting four runs on junior reliever Patrick Camporini in 1/3 of an inning before Wilk introduced senior closer Charlie Steinman to stop the bleeding. Steinman, despite allowing a run, was able to record the final two outs.
“We pitched extremely defensively until Charlie came in,” Wilk said. “We weren’t aggressive and we weren’t trying to throw strikes. We were pitching scared.”
Georgetown’s competition will increase in difficulty significantly from this point on. However, Wilk said that he was pleased with the Hoyas’ performance in the season’s first month.
“We’ve beaten the teams we should have beaten, and I don’t want to minimize that. That is a very positive sign, and we’ve had teams that haven’t done that [in past years],” Wilk said. “I would like to see us play better defense, but I’ve been very pleased with our pitching with yesterday’s exception. We have been limiting free base-runners. In today’s game, if you can limit free base-runners, you’re always in the game.”
After coming out on top against UMES, the Hoyas will hope that their newfound offensive potency will continue against UConn (11-6). The Huskies — who swept the Hoyas in their last meeting two seasons ago — will likely pose a significant obstacle to the Blue and Gray’s winning streak. Georgetown, though, did receive an advantage when the series — originally scheduled to be played in Storrs, Conn. — was moved to the Hoyas’ home at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda due to inclement weather in New England.