Georgetown’s baseball team experienced a season’s worth of emotions in its first series of the 2003 season last weekend.

The Hoyas squandered a four-run ninth-inning lead on Saturday in a 15-13 loss at William and Mary, but bounced back Sunday and slugged their way to an 18-17 win.

Georgetown (1-1) overcame some shaky pitching with a relentless offense, and in the process gave the program its first non-losing record in three years.

This season started inauspiciously for the Hoyas on Saturday, as the Tribe scored in the bottom of the first inning thanks to two Georgetown errors. William and Mary added three more runs over the next three innings and Georgetown found itself trailing 4-2.

The Hoyas lineup struggled early against starting pitcher Chris Ray, a Baseball America third-team preseason All-American. Ray allowed only one earned run on six hits in his five innings of work.

Georgetown had considerable success at the plate following Ray’s departure, however. The Hoyas batted around in the seventh inning, torching the Tribe bullpen for six runs to take an 8-4 lead. William and Mary responded with five runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to pull ahead by one run, but the lead was short lived as Georgetown scored twice in the eighth inning. A three-run ninth, featuring a two-run home run from sophomore Billy Quinn, gave the Hoyas a 13-9 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning.

Yet Georgetown was unable to close it out. Senior captain Pat Salvitti entered the game with no outs and the bases loaded. Salvitti quickly recorded the first out on a popup, but proceeded to hit the next two batters, bringing in two runs. With the bases still loaded, Salvitti surrendered a game-winning grand slam to Tribe freshman Chris Rahl. The home run, which came on Rahl’s first collegiate at bat, gave William and Mary a 15-13 win as Salvitti (0-1) took the loss.

“It’s a game we had,” Head Baseball Coach Pete Wilk said. “We had a couple of arms we thought could do the job but they couldn’t get it done.”

Junior captain Mike Lombardi went 4-for-6 in the game, with four doubles and three runs batted in.

“Lombardi just seemed to be on base all the time,” Wilk noted.

Sunday’s game could have easily gotten out of hand, as William and Mary scored seven first-inning runs off of sophomore starter Eddie Pena. But the Hoyas chipped away at the lead, scoring four runs in the top of the second. Sophomore Andrew Cleary hit his first home run as a Hoya, a two-run shot to left that began Georgetown’s comeback.

The two teams traded runs over the next several frames, but Georgetown continued to trail, 13-11, entering the top of the eighth. The Hoyas had only two hits in the inning, yet scored seven times thanks to Tribe mistakes (four walks, three wild pitches, a passed ball and a throwing error), and Georgetown took its first lead of the game, 18-13.

William and Mary kept it close with three runs in the bottom of the inning, closing the lead to two and setting up another ninth inning rally by the Tribe. With one out and a runner on first in the ninth, freshman third baseman Danny Gronski’s throwing error put runners on second and third. A sacrifice fly brought William and Mary within one, but sophomore pitcher Mike Halloran stranded the tying run on second by inducing a fly out to center. Georgetown won its first game of the season by a score of 18-17, and Halloran (1-0) picked up his first career win.

“We tried to give that one away,” Wilk said of Sunday’s win, “but it had no effect on [Halloran]. He was outstanding.”

Freshman Warren Sizemore was also a major contributor, as he pitched 3.2 innings in relief of Pena and surrendered just one run on four hits with two strikeouts.

“Sizemore was basically a freshman pitching like a junior,” Wilk said. “Confident and poised, he had the attitude you need to have on the hill.”

Wilk was pleased with the weekend overall, saying it was “pretty special” to see the entire lineup contribute. He praised his team for persevering after a heartbreaking loss to come back and win on Sunday.

“We did a great job getting ready to play,” Wilk explained. “There was a sense in the dugout that we know we have a potent offense. There was no panic when they could’ve easily rolled over. I’m very proud of them.”

Georgetown travels to North Carolina this weekend looking to continue its winning ways. The Hoyas play the first of three games against Davidson at Wildcat Park on Saturday.

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