Feb. 25, 2012
WASHINGTON - Led by junior left fielder Paul Bello (Towaca, N.J./Delbarton), who drove in seven, the Georgetown baseball erupted for 24 runs and 31 hits in a pair of games at the Wake Forest Invitational, leading the Hoyas to an 11-6 win over Cincinnati and to a 13-6 win over the University of Maryland-Baltimore County on Friday at the WF Baseball Park in Winston-Salem, N.C. The win in the nightcap was the fourth-straight win for the Blue & Gray, who improve to 5-1 overall.
"Bello had a great day, he had a week in one day today and that really helped us," Head Coach Pete Wilk said. "I thought going into this season that our offense could be pretty good and they carried us today. I'm really happy for the kids on this team. I think they walked away today feeling pretty good and they should. This was a good day."
In the nightcap, Bello twice drove in runs with two outs in an inning to keep rallies alive as the Hoyas came back from two deficits en route to the 13-6 over UMBC. Freshman starter Will Brown (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) gave up five runs over 4.2 innings as GU fell behind early, but three relievers - redshirt senior Tommy Isaacs (Ponte Vedre Beach, Fla./Bolles), junior Charles Steinman (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Chaminade) and redshirt senior Pablo Vinent (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit) - combined to allow one run over 4.1 innings to close out the win.
Trailing 3-1 in the fifth, and redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur) hit a solo home run to lead off the inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Bello followed with a single to right, scoring junior third baseman Trevor Matern (Santa Carlita, Calif./Hart) and sophomore first baseman Steve Anderson (Albany, N.Y./Guilderland).
UMBC took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the inning, but the Hoyas responded with four runs to take the lead for good. A double from Garza scored senior outfielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal) to tie the game. Matern drove in the go-ahead run with a single and the bases were loaded again for Bello with one out and he hit a sacrifice to push the score to 8-5.
Garza finished the game 4-for-7, with a home run, double, two single, three run scored and two RBI, while Anderson went 4-for-5, with two doubles, two singles, three runs scored and two RBI. Junior Danny Poplawski (Bellevue, Wash./The Overlake School) went 3-for-4 with a double, two singles, three runs and one RBI, while Matern and Ravnaas each had two hits and scored two runs.
In the opener against Cincinnati, senior starter Will Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) gave up five runs in the fifth inning, but he threw 7.0 innings, giving up six earned runs on nine hits, with three walks and four strikeouts to improve to 2-0 this season. Junior James Heine (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) threw two scoreless innings of relief, striking out two batters, to close out the win.
Trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the Hoyas cut into the lead with a pair of runs. Poplawski reached on a leadoff error and scored when senior catcher Kevin Johnson (Peabody, Mass./Belmont Hill) hit a triple to left-center. A single up the middle from Bello made it 5-2.
The Hoyas took the lead for good in the sixth with a six-run inning, highlighted by two home runs. Johnson was issued a bases loaded walk to cut the lead to 5-3 and, after the first out was recorded, senior second baseman Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) gave Georgetown the lead for good with a grand slam to left. Junior centerfielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) followed with a solo home run to center, making it 8-5.
The lead was cut to 8-6 in the seventh, but the Hoyas responded with three more runs in the bottom of the inning. Garza hit a leadoff double and junior infielder Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial) reached on an infield single to start the inning. After a sacrifice from Poplawski, Bello delivered a two-run single to make it 10-5. Bello, who moved to second on an error, scored when Leeson singled to left.
Sophomore right-hander Jack VanderLinden (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School of Dallas) takes the hill on Saturday as Georgetown plays UMBC again on Saturday, Feb. 25 at noon.