April 7, 2012
Bethesda, Md. - Led by a strong start from junior Neal Dennison (Houston, Texas/Lamar) and an impressive relief appearance from junior Charlie Steinman (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Chaminade), the Georgetown baseball team broke a tie in the fifth inning and beat No. 18 Louisville, 6-3, to salvage the final game of a three-game series at Shirley Povich Field.
It was the fourth win in the last seven games for the Hoyas, who improve to 15-17 overall and 3-6 in the BIG EAST Conference, while Louisville falls to 23-9 overall and 7-2 in league play.
The Hoyas took a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning when a passed ball and a throwing error with the bases loaded allowed junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) and senior right field fielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal) to score the go-ahead runs.
From there, it was all Dennison and Steinman. Dennison, a converted reliever, gave up single runs in the first two innings, but settled down over the next three, allowing baserunners in each inning, but working his way out of trouble. In the sixth, he retired the first two batters before issuing walks to Zach Lucas and Zak Wasserman, but induced a pop fly to center to end the jam. Steinman entered the game in the seventh and had a runner on first with one out after a single from Adam Engel, but a brilliant double play started by senior second baseman Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) ended the opportunity.
The Hoyas added a run in the bottom of the seventh, pushing their lead to 5-2. Lentz drew a leadoff walk from Dace Kime and Leeson was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch moved both runners up and Ravnaas was intentionally walked for redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur), who hit a sacrifice fly to left to push the margin to three runs.
Louisville had a chance to cut into the lead in the eighth when a single from Jeff Gardner a double from Stewart Ijames put runners on second and third with none out. Steinman, however, retired the next three batters, with one run scoring, to escape with a 5-3 lead.
Georgetown added a run in the eighth to get the run back as junior Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga.//Centennial) hit a single to left, scoring junior Danny Poplawski (Bellevue, Wash./Overlake), who reached on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from senior Kevin Johnson (Peabody, Mass./Belmont Hill).
Steinman struck out two batters in the ninth and retired the side in order to save the game. Dennison threw 6.0 innings, yielding two runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout as he improved to 3-1. Steinman threw 3.0 innings, giving up one run on three hits with two strikeouts.
Tied at 2-all after four innings, Georgetown took its first lead of the series with a pair of unearned run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Leeson reached on a bunt single and moved to second when junior third baseman Trevor Matern (Santa Clarita, Calif./Hart) grounded out for the second out of the inning. Cody Ege came on in relief of UL starter Travis Tingle and Ravnaas beat out an infield hit to first, putting runners on the corners. Chad Green came on in relief and walked Garza to load the bases. With sophomore Steve Anderson (Albany, N.Y./Guilderland) batting, Green threw a pitch to the backstop, allowing Leeson to score. On the same play, UL catcher Kyle Gibson's throw to the plate to get Leeson went into the infield, allowing Ravnaas to come all the way around from second, giving GU a 4-2 lead.
Louisville jumped on top early with single runs in the first and second. Dennison gave up a leadoff single to Engel, who stole a pair of bases and scored on a single to right from Jeff Gardner. In the second, Kyle Gibson hit a single through the left side, scoring Ty Young, who drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a fielder's choice.
The Hoyas cut into the lead in the bottom of the second when Garza hit the first offering from Tingle over the left field fence for his fifth home run of the season.
Georgetown tied the game in the bottom of the third with some help from the bottom of the lineup. Lentz hit a sharp ground ball to third and beat it out for the infield hit. After moving to second on a wild pitch, Matern walked to put runners on first and second. A single up the middle from Garza brought home Lentz with the tying run.
Georgetown wraps up a nine-game home stand on Tuesday, April 10, hosting Mount St. Mary's in the team's first night game, playing under the lights at Shirley Povich Field at 7 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.