With winning records in each of the first two series of the season, the Georgetown baseball team has jumped out to a 6-2 start, including a stretch of five consecutive wins. For a team that had great worries about offense after last season, the offensive tear that ensued over the first weeks is a very positive sign. Scoring more than ten runs in each of the five straight wins, the team has shown that it is capable of the run production necessary to win.
Still, Head Coach Pete Wilk does not want the team to get ahead of itself. Early in the season, the Hoyas have not played their most challenging opponents. Although he is satisfied with the offensive performance so early on, he remains realistic and understands that the competition will only get better.
“I’m happy with where we are,” Wilk said of the team’s hitting. “I think we’ve got a good approach working for us from a lineup standpoint. We have a plan going up to the plate and we’re executing that plan for the most part.”
Pitching, on the other hand, has not met expectations so far. With too many walks putting excessive runners on base, the pitching staff only made it more difficult to keep the opposition’s run count down. To improve enough to compete successfully in conference play, the pitchers will need to stay healthy, and work on locating better up on the mound.
But there are some positives when it comes to pitching. Some pitchers performed well over the past few weeks, and as the rest get more innings in, the staff could gain an edge by the time Big East play comes around.
Wilk echoed similar sentiments about his pitchers. “I think we pitched okay and pretty good, but we certainly haven’t pitched great,” he said. “I think we have the potential to be pretty good on the hill if we stay healthy. Will Harris has given us one really good start. The first start was excellent and his last start was just pretty good.”
A very important issue as the team gets closer to Big East play is keeping up the skilled defense behind the pitching. Sitting at the top of the Big East so far in terms of fielding percentage, Georgetown wants to lighten the burden on pitchers by making the necessary plays in the field, something Wilk harps on with his group.
“If we can keep our level of defense where it is now, we’re going to be better regardless,” he said. “Because we are playing really good defense for the most part, and obviously that helps your pitching when you’re playing a high level of defense.”
Next week, the team will be traveling down to Florida to play an exhibition game against Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals, currently in spring training, where they will face some of the best prospects in the game.
Wilk said he wants everyone to share the benefits of this opportunity. “It’s still going to be quite a challenge, still going to be quite a thrill,” he said. “I’m going to try my best to get everyone in that ball game with the exception of a few pitchers. I want everyone to be able to say that they played in that game.”
After the game against the Nationals, the team will stay in Florida for the remainder of the break to play in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. While their opponents will not be the toughest of the year, they will still provide a chance for the Hoyas to play essential innings and gain experience before they return to D.C. It will be a long stretch of baseball before they return, but Coach Wilk is keeping the expectations high throughout. The focus is on playing quality baseball for each inning of every game.
“When you got nine games, including the Nats, in ten days and these guys have nothing else to worry about, you know, it’s basically baseball for ten straight days,” Wilk said. “It’s great. I want to continue to play at a high level and come back obviously with a winning record on the trip which would allow us to keep our winning record where it is now. I would be disappointed if we at least didn’t do that.”