Hyde sets career home run record in first game in new stadium, Hoyas sweep FDU

March 4, 2024

Photo by Graham Krewinghaus

The GUTS-to-Metro connection has long been the gateway into the city for adventurous Hoyas. With no Metro stop near campus, thousands and thousands of students over the years have relied upon the trusty shuttles to Rosslyn and Dupont Circle, from which points the Red, Blue, Silver, and Orange lines can take them anywhere their hearts desire.

Now, Hoyas can add another GUTS-to-Metro-accessible excursion to their bucket list: Georgetown baseball, a program on the rise with a new stadium just feet from a Silver Line stop. Capital One Park is directly overlooked by the elevated track approaching the McLean station and has everything you need, from mediocre hot dogs to energetic toddlers to a parking lot still under construction.

The Hoyas (6-5, BIG EAST) did well in their debut at the new park, sweeping the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (1-9, NEC) with two dominant games after an exciting come-from-behind win in their home and series opener on Friday afternoon. In that game, senior outfielder Jake Hyde set a new Georgetown record for career home runs, sending his 40th flying over the center field fence and sparking the 6th inning comeback that proved crucial for the win.

The game started a little shaky for the Hoyas: neither team was able to score in the first two innings, but three Georgetown players were left on base over that stretch. Graduate pitcher Carson Frye kept the Knights quiet for those two innings, logging three strikeouts, but in the third he struggled, allowing hit after hit as FDU earned five runs. He was replaced on the mound by graduate pitcher Cody Jensen, who managed to escape the inning, stranding three runners.

The Hoyas had to dig themselves out of a 5-run hole starting in the bottom of the third, and senior shortstop Michael Eze got them started. He got to first and then third on throwing errors before junior catcher Owen Carapellotti batted him home with a single. Getting a run on the board in the third helped the Hoyas’ confidence and they opened the game up with a three-hit, two-run fourth inning to make the game 5-3.

Jensen took care of business over the ensuing stretch, sitting down the FDU batters in order in the fifth and sixth innings. The Hoya batters were quiet as well in the fifth, but in the sixth, they broke the game open immediately.

Hyde was first up to the plate in the inning, and took FDU’s graduate relief pitcher Ben Pika past the center field fence for a solo home run, breaking the career record. His homer opened the floodgates for the Hoyas, who kept the pressure on all inning. Eze earned a walk, and with senior first baseman Christian Ficca at the plate, Eze sprinted to steal second, just barely beating the throw from the catcher. Someone from the dugout put to words the park’s thoughts: “that was so impressive!”

That voice from the dugout probably liked the next pitch: Ficca swung on it hard, connecting and sending it flying to nearly the same spot Hyde had hit it just moments before, scoring himself and Eze with another home run and taking the lead for the Hoyas, 6-5. After a quick out, Carapellotti came back up to the plate and logged an easy double, which graduate second baseman Josh Rolling batted in with a double of his own. Rolling then scored on a double from sophomore outfielder Travis Ilitch, who then scored on graduate outfielder Derek Smith’s single. The entire batting order—top to bottom—saw the plate in the sixth before FDU finally put an end to it when Hyde grounded out in his second at-bat of the inning.

The Knights did well in the top of the sixth, putting the pressure on the Hoyas’ next reliever, sophomore Andrew Jergins, with a double and a home run to cut the 9-5 lead in half. Georgetown went next to graduate pitcher Jordan Yoder, who also struggled, letting three of his first four batters onto base. Two of them scored to tie it at 9 before a strikeout and a flyout got the Hoyas to the bottom of the sixth.

But with the pressure on, FDU was the team that started to sweat: two straight walks prompted a pitching change for the Knights, but their next reliever, sophomore Luke Russo, walked two more Georgetown batters, and Eze took home without the Hoyas logging a hit in the inning. That was all the damage they did, though, and Georgetown entered the seventh inning up 10-9 and in need of some stops.

For that, they turned to graduate closer Nick Davis, who delivered in a big way. He allowed one hit in the eighth but caught the runner trying to steal second, and logged a strikeout in a nearly perfect inning. The FDU closer hit three batters in the bottom of the eighth, one of whom scored a run on a single from graduate third baseman Joe Hollerbach. But the Knights closed out the corner neatly, stranding three and stopping the damage at the one run.

Going into the ninth, the lead was 11-9, and Davis again stepped up to make it happen for the Hoyas. He struck out all three FDU batters in order, only taking a total of 10 beautiful pitches to strike out three and deliver the save for Georgetown.

Highlighted by excellent play from Hyde, Davis, Jensen, and Ficca, the Hoyas made a great statement in the back half of the opening game, showing fans what the program is about and what to expect at Capital One Park going forward. They followed up on that showing on Saturday and Sunday, as they comfortably won two afternoon matchups against FDU, 7-2 and 9-2, respectively.

With a new park, a veteran team and an exciting coach, there’s a lot to look forward to in this baseball season. They play next in North Carolina, matching up against Wake Forest on Tuesday before taking on Duke on Wednesday. First pitch for both games is slated for 4 P.M. For more Georgetown sports coverage, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.

Graham Krewinghaus
Graham is a junior in the College and the editor-in-chief for the Spring 2024 semester. He cares too much about the Boston Celtics, and the proper amount about the Georgetown Voice.

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