March 2, 2012
WASHINGTON - Only a coach could express the little bit of disappointment that Georgetown University Head Baseball Coach Pete Wilk did on Friday. Sure, his team committed four errors and they only had four hits. But they did so in a 3-0 exhibition loss to the Washington Nationals on Friday afternoon and losing by that margin to a Major League team takes some of the sting away.
"We've been playing better defense than we did today," Wilk said after the exhibition loss to Craig Heist of Washington radio station WTOP. "Other than that I was pleased. What a great experience this was for our kids. Their starter (Matt Purke) is pretty darn good, there's a reason he is where he is."
Senior right-hander Will Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) started for the Hoya and was one of eight pitchers to throw one inning. He threw one inning and gave up one unearned run.
"I was pleased with Will (Harris)," Wilk said. "I thought he threw the ball very well. I was pleased with all of our guys. You're wondering what you'd see with a different crowd and the different level of hitter This was an experience for these guys and I thought we came out pretty well. It was a lot fun today."
The Hoyas, who lost 15-0 to the Nats four years ago, held their own against the Washington Major League team on Friday, with four hits.
Junior left fielder Paul Bello (Towaca, N.J./Delbarton) hit a double off Nationals starter Matt Purke in the first inning for Georgetown's first hit.
Others with hits included junior Danny Poplawski (Bellevue, Wash./The Overlake School) and sophomore first baseman Steve Anderson (Albany, N.Y./Guilderland), as well as freshman catcher Roberto Rodriguez (Clermont, Fla./Monteverde Academy), who each had a single.
The Nationals scored single runs in the first, fourth and sixth innings, respectively, but the Georgetown pitchers limited Washington to only five hits.
Junior pitcher Thomas Polus (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean) walked one and struck out one in one inning and sophomore pitcher Jack VanderLinden (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School of Dallas) threw one scoreless inning, including throwing out former No. 1 pick Bryce Harper on a bunt attempt in the second inning.
Junior James Heine (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) gave up an unearned run in the fourth, redshirt senior Tommy Isaacs (Ponte Vedre Beach, Fla./Bolles) threw a scoreless fifth inning and redshirt junior pitcher Billy Cosmopulos (Seekonk, Mass./Moses Brown[R.I.]) gave up one run in the sixth.
It really didn't hit me until I was done," Harris said. "Looking back, I almost wish I could have taken more of it in as it was going on. I just appreciate the opportunity to face guys of that quality. It was a fantastic experience."
Georgetown gets back to games that count on Saturday, March 3, playing St. Bonaventure in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.