The Georgetown Hoyas baseball team (13-26, 2-4 Big East) swept a doubleheader against Rider (13-25, 4-8 MAAC) this Saturday at Shirley Povich Field, claiming their first series sweep of 2019 and starting off a six-game homestand on a high note. The sweep served as a much-needed bounceback performance for the Blue & Gray, as it came on the heels of a 17-3 drubbing at the hands of Navy on Tuesday. The offense was explosive all around, with the teams scoring a combined 38 runs over the two games. Georgetown’s graduate student center fielder Kyle Ruedisili notched four hits on the day, including his team-leading seventh homer, and sophomore catcher Ryan P. Davis clubbed two homers in the wins. Junior center fielder Sebastian Williamson collected five base hits for the Broncs.
Game one looked to be a blowout, as Georgetown had jumped out to an 11-0 lead by the fifth inning. Just two batters into the bottom of the first, the Hoyas had seized an advantage, as Ruedisili doubled and came home on a single up the middle by senior second baseman Ryan Weisenberg to lead off the game for the Hoya bats. In the second, the wheels really came off for Rider sophomore right-hander Vincent Vitacco. Vittaco surrendered five hits, issued four walks, and hit two batters in the inning alone, and by the time he finally got out of the second, the Broncs were down 8-0. Highlights of the offensive outburst for Georgetown were a two-run double by Ruedisili, an RBI double by sophomore left fielder James Gabor, and an RBI single by freshman right fielder Michael Willis. Meanwhile, junior right-hander Nick Morreale was a stark contrast to Vittaco, tossing four scoreless frames to begin his day.
To lead off the bottom of the fourth, Vittaco served up a solo shot to Ryan P. Davis, who was penciled in at designated hitter in the first game. It was Davis’ third dinger of the season. Four batters later, freshman catcher Matt Stone pulled a single into left field, scoring two and making it 11-0 Hoyas, and Rider head coach Barry Davis had seen enough from Vittaco. Freshman right-hander Kyle Smith came in to get the final two outs of the inning.
Morreale’s otherwise perfect outing hit a snag in the top of the fifth, as he gave up three runs including an RBI double to senior shortstop Richie Tecco, but Morreale rebounded to fire a scoreless sixth. He finished the game with six solid innings of three-run ball to improve his record to 3-2. Sophomore shortstop Yareb Martinez ripped a run-scoring single to center in the sixth to make it 12-3, capping off Georgetown’s offensive outburst in game one. Rider got two runs each in the eighth and ninth innings to make the final score 12-7.
In game two, Georgetown kept the ball rolling as Ruedisili hit a leadoff shot in the first to give his squad a 1-0 lead. Rider was determined to salvage a series split, however, as the Broncs took a 2-1 advantage in the top of the second off of junior right-hander Jerry Burke with a two-run double by junior second baseman Zach Fick. Though Rider made it a two-run game with another run in the third, the Hoyas roared back with a run each in the next three innings, highlighted by a two-run double by sophomore catcher Alex Gamache in the bottom of the third.
The Broncs were not discouraged by the 5-3 deficit. They knocked Burke out of the game by manufacturing two runs in the top of the sixth, and in the seventh, they rattled off four straight hits off of freshman left-hander Angelo Tonas and sophomore left-hander Jacob Grzebinski, resulting in a commanding 9-5 lead late.
However, the Georgetown offense was not done. Against redshirt senior right-hander CJ Hirschy, Ryan P. Davis came up with an immensely clutch three-run pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the seventh to cut it to 9-8. After Martinez lined a double down the right field line and Ruedisili walked, sophomore left fielder Kai Nelson came up with a pinch-hit chance to even the game. Nelson lifted a routine fly to center field, but Williamson dropped the ball, allowing both runners to score and handing the Blue & Gray a 10-9 lead.
Still, Rider wouldn’t go away. Grzebinski stayed on to pitch the final three innings, and the Broncs sparked a rally in the bottom of the ninth. Tecco led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball, followed by a pop out and a walk. With one out, senior first baseman Riley Mihalik hit a dribbler back to Grzebinski who flipped home to catch Tecco, but the Hoya southpaw wasn’t out of the woods just yet. Looking to redeem his crucial error, Williamson pulled a single into left, sending the runner on second toward the plate. Nelson, just into the game, fielded the hit and fired home in time to save the game, notching his third assist of the year and securing a doubleheader sweep for the Hoyas. Grzebinski earned his first win of 2019 despite struggling, allowing six hits and three runs over three innings.
The Hoyas will look to put together a hot streak on this homestand as they welcome George Washington (22-18, 6-9 Atlantic 10) on Wednesday. Georgetown will attempt to complete the season sweep of their neighbors after claiming a 14-4 victory back on February 27. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. ET. For continuing coverage of all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.
Image Credits: Georgetown Athletics Communications