Feb. 18, 2012
WASHINGTON - Senior outfielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal) hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning and helped to back up a strong pitching performance from senior starter Will Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) as the Georgetown baseball team beat Charleston, 2-1, in the season opener for both squads on Friday afternoon at CSU Ballpark in South Carolina.
It was the first game of a three-game series. The teams were slated to play games on Saturday and Sunday, but due to inclement weather expected in the latter part of the weekend, the Hoyas will play a doubleheader on Saturday.
"It's always good to start the season with a win and this was a good one for us," Head Coach Pete Wilk said. "We played every well defensively behind Will and he just pitched a great game. Rand had a couple of tough at-bats early in the game and then he really got a hold of one to give us what we needed."
Harris picked up the win, throwing 7.2 innings and allowing only one run on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. The 6-4 right-hander retired the first nine batters he faced before a leadoff single in the fourth inning.
Trailing 1-0 in the eighth inning, junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) hit a leadoff single, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from junior third baseman Trevor Matern (Santa Clara, Calif./Hart), his second of the game. Ravnaas, a Preseason All-BIG EAST selection in the outfield, followed with a two-run home run to right, giving the Hoyas a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
Harris got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the inning as Bobby Ison and Jaren Sustar reached base on singles to put runners on first and second, but the senior induced a ground ball to first base, which junior Danny Poplawski (Bellevue, Wash./The Overlake School) turned into a 3-6-1 double play.
Senior reliever Pablo Vinent (Miami, Fla./Vinent) retired the final out of the eighth with a pop up and, despite a leadoff walk with the runner moving to second, was able to close the game out in the bottom of the ninth.
The Hoyas had opportunities early in the game, with Leeson starting the season off with a leadoff double and moving to third when Matern reached first on a throwing error and a sacrifice bunt. CSU starter Charlie McReady was able to work out of the jam. In the third, senior second baseman Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) was issued a one-out walk and was on third after a single from junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur) with two out, but the Hoyas could not take the lead.
CSU scored its only run in the fifth on an RBI single from Drew Woodall. The Hoyas had a two-out rally in the top of the sixth when Garza hit a double and was on third when senior catcher Kevin Johnson (Peabody, Mass./Belmont Hill) walked, but they could not plate the tying run.
Saturday's doubleheader is slated to start at 11 a.m. Junior Thomas Polus (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean) will start the first game, with freshman Will Brown (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) closing the series out.