Baseball freefalling in Big East

April 13, 2011

The Hoyas have failed to score more than four runs in any Big East game. (Photo courtesy of Georgetown Sports Information)

After a promising start to the season, the Georgetown baseball team (18-7, 1-8 Big East) has struggled in conference play. Most recently, a sweep by West Virginia over the weekend has pushed the Hoyas to the bottom of the Big East standings.

The Hoyas have failed to score more than four runs in any Big East game. (Photo courtesy of Georgetown Sports Information)

The Hoyas have lost eight of their last nine games after a 9-2 stretch that included a seven-game winning streak. Georgetown has been swept in its past two Big East series, picking up their only win during the rough patch against non-conference opponent UMBC.

During the slide, the Hoya offense has gone cold, failing to score more than four runs in any of the eight losses.

“We’ve had a number of hitters go into slumps at the same time, and we’re facing tougher pitching,” head coach Pete Wilk said.

The first game against West Virginia saw Georgetown jump out to an early lead in the top of the first inning, only for starting pitcher Charles Steinman to give up three runs in the bottom half of the frame. The sophomore gave up another run in the second but held the Mountaineers scoreless in his next four innings while striking out eight. The Hoyas failed to take advantage of the solid pitching, however, and lost 4-3.

On Saturday, junior pitcher Will Harris gave a strong showing, giving up two runs over six and two-thirds innings. But West Virginia pitcher Harrison Musgrave, who allowed only three hits, shut out the Hoyas. West Virginia won the game 4-0.

Redshirt junior Tommy Isaacs took the mound in the series finale to try to salvage a Georgetown victory, but he was shelled early, giving up eight hits and four runs in the first four innings. The Hoyas strung together a few hits in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game up at four. But West Virginia responded quickly, with third baseman Dan DiBartolomeo hitting a two-run homer off freshman Alex Baker. West Virginia held on to pick up the 6-4 win and the sweep.

Despite having no teams in the top 25, the Big East is no walk in the park.

“It [the Big East Conference] is one of the best in the nation. This is not a surprise,” Wilk said of his team’s struggles.

The Hoyas troubles continued Tuesday against No. 2 Virginia, who beat them 4-0 in a game that lasted five innings due to rain. The Hoyas only two hits of the night came from third baseman Sean Lamont as Virginia pitcher Will Roberts struck out six.

After facing a top-ranked, out-of-conference opponent, the Hoyas can refocus on the Big East, where they still have 18 games to play. There’s plenty of  time for the squad to improve its place in the standings, but they must wake up their bats.

“We’ve got to get our offense going again because we’re pitching and playing good defense,” Wilk said. “We get a timely hit here or there, and our record is drastically different.”

The team plays three games against conference foe Pittsburgh over the weekend at home on Shirley Povich Field.

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