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Freshmen shine for the Hoyas
Last weekend, when the Hoya Baseball team (14-25, 3-11 BE) lost their three-game series to Big East foes St. John’s (24-12, 11-4 BE), the sweep was not so much a triumph for the Red Storm as it was a heartbreak for the Hoyas. Though St. John’s dominated the series opener 16-0, Georgetown came back in the second game, only to lose in the ninth inning, 8-2. In the third game, the Hoyas took the game to 11 innings before losing 4-2.
“We haven’t been able to get over the hump,” freshman pitcher Tim Adleman said of the season thus far. “But we’re almost there.”
Although the squad returned 17 letter winners, it is the freshman class’s performance on the field that has Georgetown baseball fans eager for the future. The class is arguably the best Georgetown has ever had, thanks to revamped recruiting. Freshman pitcher Jack Bender points to “living room recruiting“—coaches making a greater effort to personally recruit high school prospects, literally visiting them in their living rooms—as a reason for their success.
The first-years boast impressive résumés. First basemen Dan Capeless was ranked in Baseball America’s Top 300 as a high school senior. Bender was an All-Group Two selection out of central New Jersey and has made 20 appearances thus far, more than any other pitcher on the team. Fellow hurler Alex Meyer was named First Team All-League, All-County, and All-North Jersey, and the North Jersey Pitcher of the Year. Of the team’s 13 pitchers, five are freshmen. Meyer has the most wins of any pitcher on the team, and Bender has the second lowest ERA.
Despite the rookie talent, the season has not been a success. Last year, the Hoyas won 10 Big East games, finishing 24-32 and 10-17 BE. This season, the team began with a three-game slide to Davidson, and now sits at 14-26 and 3-12 in conference play.
“I think this year has been tough because of a lot of different reasons,” Meyer wrote in an e-mail. “We are a young team and really can only get better. If we played as well as we could every day, then our record would be a lot different than it is now.”
Bender agreed with his teammate.
“I think we’re underachieving, but we’re headed in the right direction,” he said. “I’ve seen next year’s recruiting class and it’s very impressive.”
With high hopes from their assertive recruiting, the team hopes more fans will make it to home games in Bethesda.
“Having a field so far away from campus really hurts us, because most people don’t even know where it is and we get like five people at each game,” Meyer wrote. “If we had a big crowd each night I think it would help us play better and with more intensity.”
If this year’s impressive freshman class continues to develop, the players may soon see packed stands at Shirley Povich Field.