April 5, 2012
Bethesda, Md. - Georgetown loaded the bases with none out in the eighth and put two runners on base in the ninth, but could only manage one run as No. 18 Louisville used three pitchers in the final two innings to escape with a 5-1 win over the Hoyas in a BIG EAST Conference baseball game at Shirley Povich Field Friday afternoon.
The loss drops Georgetown's record to 14-16 overall and 2-5 in the BIG EAST, while Louisville improves to 22-8 overall and 6-1 in league play.
Louisville jumped on top with three runs in the third inning off senior starter Will Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep), but were kept in check by Cardinals starter Justin Amlung, who had allowed only three base runners through the first seven innings.
Trailing 4-1 in the eighth, the Hoyas had a golden opportunity. Junior Danny Poplawski (Bellevue, Wash./Overlake) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and junior left fielder Paul Bello (Towaca, N.J./Delbarton) snuck a single through the right side to put two runners on. Senior second baseman Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice), who had both of Georgetown's hits to that point with singles, worked the count to 3-2 before drawing a walk.
Amlung was relieved by Matt Koch, who threw a four-pitch walk to junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester), scoring Poplawski and cutting the lead to 4-1. That walk put Leeson on with the tying run and none out. Sophomore Steve Anderson (Albany, N.Y./Guilderland) pinch-hit for the Hoyas, but lefty reliever Cody Ege induced a foul out down the left field and senior right fielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal) struck out for the second out.
Louisville closer Derek Self came in and struck out redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur) to end the threat.
The Cardinals got that run back in the top of the ninth, as Adam Engel hit a leadoff bunt against senior reliever Pablo Vinent (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit), moved to second on a ground out and scored when Mike White doubled to right, pushing the lead to 5-1.
The Hoyas again had a chance in the bottom of the ninth, as senior catcher Kevin Johnson (Peabody, Mass./Belmont Hill) drew a leadoff walk and moved to second when junior Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial) singled to left. Self retired the next three batters to end the threat.
Louisville had jumped on top early, taking advantage of a leadoff walk to Engel from Harris in the third. Nick Ratajczak doubled to center, scoring Engel with the game's first run. After Jeff Gardner was hit by a pitch and the runners moved up on a ground out, Harris recorded the second out, but Zach Lucas hit a double to the corner in left, making it 3-0.
That was all Amlung needed. He allowed only two base runners in the first five innings - a two-out walk to Blakey in the second and a out-out single from Lentz in the third - and struck out eight batters.
Harris took the loss despite a decent outing, throwing 8.0 innings and giving up four runs on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts. He hit five batters.
The series continues on Friday, April 6, with first pitch at Shirley Povich Field slated for 4 p.m. Live video of the game will be available on the Georgetown Athletics website - www.guhoyas.com - with Tim Murray calling all of the action.