Georgetown Struggles to Open Big East Play At Xavier

Georgetown Struggles to Open Big East Play At Xavier

By:
04/07/2019

This past weekend, the Georgetown Hoyas baseball team (8-24, 0-3 Big East) was swept at Xavier (12-19, 3-0 Big East), snapping a two-game winning streak. The weekend series brought an end to Xavier’s five-game losing streak and improved the Musketeers’ home record to 5-2. The squads played one game on Friday afternoon and a doubleheader on Saturday, with all three games finishing relatively close.

On Friday, the Hoyas grabbed an early lead on a first inning RBI double by freshman outfielder Michael Willis, but they were soon overpowered. In the bottom of the second, Xavier freshman center fielder Luke Franzoni clubbed a three-run shot off of junior right-hander Jeremiah Burke, giving the Musketeers a 3-1 lead. The Hoyas showed fight, however, clawing their way back into the game. Graduate student left fielder Kyle Ruedisili and freshman shortstop Alex Rosen hit their fifth and first homers of the year, respectively, amidst a Hoyas comeback that saw the score tied at four in the top of the fourth. In the fifth, however, Xavier reclaimed the lead with Burke still in the game. Senior first baseman Matt Warkentin delivered with an RBI single in the fifth, and sophomore left fielder Allbry Major brought home two runs on a double in the sixth, making it 7-4. Burke left the game having completed 5.2 innings, allowing 10 hits and seven runs (six earned). Sophomore left-hander Owen Lamon and freshman left-hander Angelo Tonas combined for 2.1 scoreless innings out of the Georgetown bullpen, but the bats were unable to muster another comeback against the stingy Musketeer relievers. Sophomore left-hander Trevor Olson fired a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.

Saturday did not bring happier results for the Hoyas. In the first game, Xavier again pulled away late and took a 9-4 victory. To lead off the bottom of the first, junior first baseman Connor Grammes tripled and scored off a throwing error by senior second baseman Ryan Weisenberg. Freshman catcher Matt Stone hit his first collegiate home run to tie the game at one in the third, but it was not long before the Musketeers hopped back on top. Before Georgetown junior right-hander Nick Morreale left the game, sophomore second baseman Ryan Altenberger would get to him twice. In the fourth, Altenberger hit a two-run double down the right field line, and in the sixth, he smashed his third homer of the year, a solo shot to put his team up 4-2. Morreale finished with a solid line, finishing six innings and allowing three earned runs, though his relievers would not fare quite as well. Pitching on back-to-back days, Lamon and Tonas combined to give up four runs and issue three walks while getting only two outs. By the time the seventh was over, Xavier had an 8-2 lead, and the game was all but over. After Xavier tacked on another run in the eighth, sophomore catcher Alex Gamache hit a pinch-hit two-run single to make it 9-4, but that was all for the Hoyas. Morreale took the loss to fall to 1-2, while Musketeers sophomore right-hander Griffin Lanoue tossed 5.2 innings of two-run ball to earn his third victory in 2019.

The second game on Saturday was perhaps the most frustrating of the weekend for Hoyas head coach Pete Wilk. Wilk tabbed senior right-hander Jack Cushing in the series finale, and Cushing did not disappoint. The native Texan fired 7.2 shutout innings and struck out seven Musketeers after Xavier had flexed their offensive muscles in the first two games of the series. Unfortunately for Georgetown, Grammes, who pitched in the second game, was even better. The righty finished seven shutout innings and racked up 16 strikeouts, a career high. After each starter departed, it was up to sophomore left-handers Jacob Grzebinski for the Hoyas and Nick Zwack for the Musketeers. Zwack was sharp, firing two scoreless innings, and the Musketeers got to Grzebinski in the bottom of the ninth. Grammes, still in the game as a designated hitter, singled through the left side with one out. Grzebinski got the next batter to fly out, but Major proved to be more clutch, lining a double down the right field line that allowed Grammes to score and give Xavier a 1-0 walk-off victory.

Georgetown will try to pick themselves up with a mid-week matchup against Coppin State (16-12, 9-3 MEAC). Back on March 13, the Eagles claimed a resounding 14-5 win at the Hoyas’ Shirley Povich Field. On Wednesday, Georgetown will try to avenge that loss, this time on Coppin State’s home diamond. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday. For continuing coverage of all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.

Image Credits: Georgetown Athletics Communications

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Tristan Lee


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