On Friday, March 16, the Georgetown Hoyas baseball team (5-14, Big East) kicked off a four-game series against Princeton (2-10, Ivy League). The Hoyas hosted the series at Shirley Povich Field. They last played on Wednesday, when they took down Coppin State (3-12-1, MEAC) 16-9, while the Tigers hadn’t played since the previous Saturday, when they lost 4-6 to South Carolina (13-7, 1-2 SEC).
In the first game, the teams were tight, but the Tigers took the opener 5-3. Sophomore right-hander Nick Morreale got the start and did not give much length, as has been the usual this season. Morreale gave up four runs (three earned) over four innings. Despite giving up just two hits, he walked six and hit a batter. Luckily, senior right-hander Matt Randolph relieved Morreale and was superb, firing five innings of one-run ball.
As has been the theme this season, the offense was inconsistent. Although they collected nine base hits, they drew no walks and left six men on base throughout the game. Freshman shortstop Eddie McCabe lead the team with three hits, and sophomore first baseman Freddy Achecar III and sophomore center fielder Ryan M. Davis each had two. The Hoyas were held down by senior right-hander Ben Gross who tossed seven innings of two-run ball and pitched around seven base hits. The Hoyas were playing catch up after Princeton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first and failed to hold a lead in the game. Sophomore Eli Kimbell pitched the last two innings for the Tigers, giving up an unearned run and notching his first save of the year. Morreale took the loss, dropping to 0-3.
On Saturday, the Hoyas and Tigers played a double-header, and Game 1 brought much better results for the Blue & Gray: a 3-1 victory. Sophomore left-hander Brent Killam pitched arguably the best game to this point by any Georgetown pitcher. The southpaw fired seven lights-out innings, surrendering just one run and three hits. Killam punched out six Tigers, and threw just 83 pitches. Since the game was ended after seven, Killam got credit for the complete game.
The Hoya bats scratched out just three runs on five hits, but thankfully it was enough. Freshman catcher Ryan P. Davis was 3-3 on the game, including a RBI single. Junior left-hander Ryan Smith threw well for the Tigers, but he took a tough loss. Smith threw five innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits. Freshman right-hander Jack Anderson pitched a scoreless sixth, issuing a walk. With the victory, Killam moved to 2-1 on the year, and Smith dropped to 0-2 after taking the loss.
In the afternoon game, the Princeton bats exploded as the Hoyas fell 10-4. Junior right-hander Jack Cushing got the nod for Georgetown but was roughed up over 4.1 innings. He was hit for seven runs on eight hits, and ended up taking the loss to fall to 1-3. Freshman left-hander Jacob Grzebinski came in and did a decent mop-up job, surrendering three runs over the final 4.2 innings.
Georgetown racked up ten base hits, but once again were unable to find the big hits to bring their baserunners home. Shirley ripped a double and two singles, while Ryan P. Davis had a double and a single. Sophomore right-hander Andrew Gnazzo turned in a very strong start for the Tigers, pitching six innings and allowing just two runs, though neither was earned. Junior right-hander Tanner Kliewer pitched the last three innings, giving up two runs but picking up the save. Gnazzo earned the win to improve to 1-1.
On Sunday, the Hoyas were able to salvage the last game to ensure a series split, winning a tightly played game, 5-3. After several rough starts to begin the season, freshman right-hander Owen Lamon put together a very impressive outing. Lamon threw six innings and gave up just one run while pitching around seven hits. Senior right-hander Jimmy Swad made his first appearance of the weekend relieving Lamon and threw three innings to earn his third save of the season.
Ryan M. Davis racked up three base hits, including an RBI single in the 8th inning which provided a much needed insurance run. Shirley and senior second baseman Richie O’Reilly each had two base knocks. Sophomore right-hander James Proctor got the call for Princeton, and threw well despite ending up on the losing side. Proctor completed five innings but gave up three runs on seven hits. Lamon picked up the victory to move to 1-2.
Although the Hoyas only split the series, there were still several positives to take away. The impressive starts from Lamon and Killam are very encouraging from the pitching staff, and besides Game 3, the entire staff was solid. The offense was inconsistent again, but showed flashes of production. After the Hoyas’ brutal start, they should be encouraged by their 3-2 week.
Georgetown will play ball next on Wednesday when they take on Navy (17-5, 3-1 Patriot League) at Shirley Povich Field. The two squads already faced each other on February 18, when the Midshipmen took a slim 2-1 victory. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. ET. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for updates and breaking news.