Hoyas Fall Short in Series Opener, Lose to No. 17 Pittsburgh, 8-3
May 3, 2013
Bethesda, Md. - Georgetown scored three runs in the seventh inning and had the tying run at the plate but could not get any closer as No. 17 Pittsburgh scored twice in the eighth and pulled away for an 8-3 win over the Hoyas in a BIG EAST baseball game at Shirley Povich Field on Friday night.
The Hoyas, who have lost four-straight league games, fall to 25-19 overall and 5-11 in the BIG EAST, while Pittsburgh improves to 34-10 overall and 13-3 in the league.
Redshirt sophomore Jack Vander Linden (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal) took the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits with four walks and one strikeout. He falls to 3-3 overall.
Senior reliever James Heine (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) entered the game in the fifth inning and was charge with a pair of runs - on an RBI single from Casey Roche and a run-scoring double from Boo Vazquez - in the sixth as the Panthers lead grew to 5-0.
Trailing 5-0 after six innings, the Hoyas mounted a comeback in the seventh off Pitt starter Ethan Mildren. Junior first baseman Steve Anderson (Albany, N.Y./Guilderland) hit a leadoff single up the middle and moved to third on a double down the left field line from senior second baseman Danny Poplawski (Bellevue, Wash./Overlake). A ground out from senior Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial) cut the lead to 5-1 and a double to left from senior left fielder Paul Bello (Towaca, N.J./Delbarton) brought home Poplawski, cutting the lead to 5-2. Sophomore shortstop Ryan Busch (Falcon Heights, Minn./Roseville Area) delivered a single to left to plate Bello and make it 5-3, but Mildren escaped further damage by inducing an inning ending double play to end the threat.
Freshman Tim Davis (Vienna, Va./James Madison) gave up a pair of runs in the eighth and one more in the ninth, throwing 3.0 innings while allowing three earned runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Pitt's Mildren went 8.0 innings, yielding three runs on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Panthers reliever Joseph Harvey gave up a one-out single to Poplawski in the ninth, but retied the final two batters to close out the game.
The Panthers jumped had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first four innings against Vander Linden, putting 14 runners on base. The redshirt sophomore battled through at-bats with the Pitt lineup - one of the best offensive lineups in the BIG EAST - and was helped by a pair of double plays turned in the second and third innings, respectively.
Stephen Vranka hit a leadoff double in the first and Vander Linden retired the next two batters, but a bloop single to left from Vazquez plated the first run. Singles from Vranka and Eric Hess put the first two runners on in the third, but a double play left Pitt with a runner on third and two out. Vazquez followed with a short single to center that dropped in to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. Vander Linden would walk the next two batters before a ground out ended the inning with only one run scored.
Two Georgetown errors and a walk helped Pitt increase its lead to 3-0 before Vander Linden was relieved.
Anderson and Poplawski each had a pair of hits for the Hoyas.
Georgetown continues its series against the Panthers on Saturday, May 4, with first pitch at Shirley Povich Field slated for 7 p.m. The Hoyas will start sophomore Matt Hollenbeck (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham), who is 1-4 with a 4.30 earned run average, while Pittsburgh is expected to start junior Matt Wotherspoon (6-1, 3.02 ERA).