Losing Takes Toll on Georgetown

By Stephen Owens Hoya Staff Writer

The Georgetown baseball team’s season-long struggle reached a new level of frustration this week with their tenth consecutive loss, the longest and most painful streak in Head Coach Kirk Mason’s six-year career at Georgetown.

“It’s a tough situation,” Mason said after Wednesday’s 11-7 loss to Villanova. “The more you lose, the more you end up finding ways to lose the next one. It’s hard to break out of.”

Senior outfielder Sean Mignogna, the Hoyas’ ost Valuable Player over the last two seasons, expressed the difficulty the program is enduring.

“There is a lot of frustration among us,” he said, “We just have to play through it.”

The most frustrating losses for the team, according to Mignogna, are the close ones.

Last weekend, the Hoyas lost three games to Connecticut by a total of 6 runs. The Hoyas led by a margin of four runs in two of these games, only to watch both leads vanish. In the other game, the Hoyas tied the score in the top of the eighth only to surrender three runs in the bottom half of the inning and ultimately lose the game.

“When you lose close games like that when you’re in slump,” Mignogna said, “it hurts a little bit.”

In fairness to the program, the Hoyas’ struggles can be in large part attributed to the fact that Georgetown sports the only non-scholarship baseball team in the Big East. This places Mason’s squad at an obvious disadvantage to rival Big East programs.

“It takes a special kid to come here when somebody else is throwing money in their face,” Mason said.

To place the Georgetown baseball’s disadvantage in a larger scheme, the Hoyas have just as much chance to succeed in the Big East as small-market teams like the Montreal Expos and Pittsburgh Pirates have to succeed in Major League Baseball. Without scholarships to tempt the best prospects, the Hoyas lose out on the best players just as major league markets with comparatively miniscule payrolls, like Montreal and Pittsburgh, cannot attract the best players in the majors.

Change is on the way for Georgetown baseball, though not from the University, which grants scholarships to men’s and women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s crew, women’s volleyball and golf – but not baseball.

“We’ve got some alumni support,” Mason said, “We’ve got a little we’ll be able to use next year. It’s still less than a full scholarship, but it’s better than it’s been. We’re moving in the right direction.”

In the meantime, Mason relies heavily on the reputation of the university to attract recruits. “Certainly we’re the best academic school in the league,” Mason said, “We need to look for the players with high academic standards.”

With or without scholarships, the Hoyas have a season to finish. With a 2-15 Big East record, the team’s original goal of qualifying for the conference tournament is unreachable. According to both Mason and Mignogna, the Hoya’s are still motivated by pride to win games.

“You can’t go out and just give up,” Mignogna said, “That’s just not what you do when the season has come to point like this. We just have to play through it and we’ll get a win sometime.”

 

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