PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Georgetown University baseball team used a five-run sixth inning to pull away and defeat Lafayette College, 14-7, on Saturday afternoon at North Charlotte Regional Park as part of the Snowbird Baseball Classic. With the win, the Hoyas improve to 10-6 on the season, while the Leopards fall to 2-13.
Jack Cushing (Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus) started on the mound and went six strong innings, allowing four runs, of which only one was earned. He scattered eight hits and two walks, while striking out three. Nick Morreale (Lake Elmo, Minn./St. Thomas Academy/IMG Academy) and Matt Randolph (Concord, N.C./Cannon School/Emory) both fired a scoreless inning of relief with one strikeout.
Jake Bernstein (Frederick, Md./St. John’s College HS) paced the GU offense with three hits, including a home run, and scored three runs. Michael DeRenzi (Mendham, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) hit a grand slam and had five RBI, while Ryan Davis (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley) and Beau Hall (Seaville, N.J./Ocean City) each finished with two hits.
Bernstein gave the Hoyas a quick lead just three pitches into the game, lining a solo shot over the right field fence for his first home run of the season. After two quick outs, Sammy Stevens (Birmingham, Mich./Brother Rice) and Jake Kuzbel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Ridge) were hit on back-to-back pitches to put two runners on. John Simourian (Andover, Mass./Phillips Andover) lined a single into center to score Stevens before Davis doubled into the left-center field gap to push Kuzbel across the plate and give GU a 3-0 lead.
The Hoyas tacked on an unearned run in the top of the second. Bernstein singled with one out and went all the way to third on a wild pickoff attempt. He scored when DeRenzi grounded out to second base to extend the lead to 4-0.
Lafayette tied the score, 4-4, with three unearned runs in the second inning and a run in the third.
Georgetown retook the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth. GU loaded the bases with nobody out on a Davis single by, hit-by-pitch by Richie O’Reilly (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Loyola HS) and Hall reaching on an error. Bernstein grounded into a double play, allowing Davis to score and O’Reilly came home two pitches later on a wild pitch. DeRenzi then walked and went to third on a single by Zach Racusin (Morristown, N.J./Salisbury School/Marist). With Stevens batting, Racusin got caught in a rundown and DeRenzi scampered home to give Georgetown a 7-4 lead.
The Hoyas broke it open with five runs in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, O’Reilly reached on an error, Hall singled and Bernstein walked to load the bases. DeRenzi then launched a 2-0 pitch over the center field fence for a grand slam, his second of the season. Racusin restarted the rally with a walk and went to third on a single by Stevens. He scored when Kuzbel lofted a sacrifice fly to push GU’s advantage to 12-4.
The Leopards scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh off of Nick Leonard (Washington, D.C./Maret), who struck out two in the inning.
Georgetown got two of those runs back in the eighth inning. Austin Shirley (Stafford, Pa./Conestoga), who came in defensively, led off with a walk and went all the way to third on a wild pitch. Freddy Achecar III (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School), who had also come into the game defensively, hit a sacrifice fly to score Shirley and reached when the left fielder dropped the ball. Ryan Weisenberg (Parkland, Fla./San Ramon Valley) walked and Davis reached on an error to load the bases before O’Reilly reached on a fielder’s choice to score Achecar and give GU a 14-7 lead.
The two teams will conclude their three-game series on Sunday with a 10 a.m. game at the Snowbird Baseball Classic. Kevin Superko (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley/Phillips Andover) will take the mound for the Blue & Gray. Live stats will be available at www.GUHoyas.com. It will be Georgetown’s final game in Florida.
Notes – Bernstein’s leadoff homer was Georgetown’s first home run to lead off a game since Ryan Busch (’15) hit one on May 22, 2015 against Seton Hall in the BIG EAST Championships … Racusin’s fourth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 13 games and he has hit safely in all but one game this season … Saturday was DeRenzi’s second game of the season with at least five RBI.