BASEBALL | Hoyas Even Up Record With Weekend Sweep
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 01:02
A week after being snowed out in South Carolina, the Georgetown men’s baseball team (2-2) earned its first two wins of the season in North Carolina by posting 8-3 and 8-4 wins against Lafayette and Davidson, respectively. After dropping two winnable games to start the season, the Hoyas improved both offensively and defensively to bring their record back to .500.
In the game against Lafayette on Friday, Georgetown started sophomore pitcher Jack Vander Linden, who was looking to improve on a disappointing opening outing against Wofford. Vander Linden pulled through, allowing two runs on just one hit in five innings of action and giving the Georgetown offense the chance to operate with a lead.
After senior Justin Leeson drove in freshman Curtiss Pomeroy on a sacrifice fly in the third inning, Georgetown posted three more runs in the fifth. Sophomore Ryan Busch scored senior Paul Bello on another sacrifice fly before freshman Eric Webber drove in Pomeroy for another run with a single and junior Steve Anderson plated Webber on a groundout.
After playing successful smallball, the Hoyas brought out the big bats for the first time in the seventh inning as junior Christian Venditti blasted a three-run home run, Georgetown’s first bomb of the season. Venditti’s big hit effectively ended the game as freshman pitcher Tim Davis worked four efficient innings in relief, giving the Hoyas their first win.
On Saturday, Georgetown proved that the offensive potency it exercised against Lafayette was no fluke, as the Hoyas again scored eight runs, this time in an 8-4 win against Davidson. This game was much more competitive, though, as Georgetown was forced to make a three-run comeback and did not lead until the seventh inning.
After the Hoyas took a 1-0 lead on a Davidson error, the Wildcats roughed up Georgetown sophomore pitcher Matt Hollenbeck to the tune of four runs in the third inning. The defensive mishaps which have continually plagued Georgetown this season reappeared as a series of errors and wild pitches gifted the four runs to Davidson.
However, unlike in previous games when the Hoyas could not fully recover from their errors, the squad showed resilience and took charge in the later stages of the game. After the Blue and Gray tacked on solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings, freshman pinch-hitter Nick Collins entered the game with two outs in the seventh inning and delivered a two-run single to left center field to take the lead. Georgetown added one more run in the seventh before Webber batted in a single in the eighth and Leeson — who had three hits in the game, another solid performance for the Georgetown standout — brought one more home in the ninth, giving the Hoyas eight runs for a second consecutive game.
Senior Danny Poplawski gave the best offensive performance against Davidson — going 4-for-4 — but the true star of the game was the Georgetown bullpen, which combined to shut Davidson out in the final six innings.
Although Davidson and Lafayette are certainly not heavyweights, the Hoyas will undoubtedly be relieved to recovery from their early season slide by recording two wins. However, Georgetown’s success against better opponents later in the season will likely depend on Head Coach Pete Wilk’s ability to coax better defense and more consistent pitching from his players.
After playing its first four games in the South, Georgetown will be relieved to open its home schedule on Wednesday against George Mason. The Patriots (3-3) are coming off a two-game sweep of Iona, but if the Hoyas can continue their torrid offensive play, Georgetown can hope for a win.
First pitch is on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field in Rockville, Md.