May 12, 2012
Bethesda, Md. - Georgetown led by three runs through five innings, but West Virginia scored a run in the top of the eighth to break a 6-all tie en route to a 7-6 win over the Hoyas in a BIG EAST Conference baseball game on Saturday night at Shirley Povich Field.
The loss drops Georgetown's record to 22-27 overall and 8-15 in the BIG EAST, while the Mountaineers improve to 20-30 overall and 7-16 in league play. It was a critical loss for the Blue & Gray, who are two games behind Villanova for the final spot in the BIG EAST Tournament. The series finale will be held on Sunday, May 13, with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.
Senior second baseman Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) led a 14-hit attack for the Hoyas, going 3-for 4 with two doubles and a single and two runs scored, while senior right fielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal) was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a single and three runs scored, junior Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial) hit two doubles and had two RBI and junior Danny Poplawski (Bellevue, Wash./Overlake) hit two singles and had two RBI.
The Hoyas led 4-1 through five innings, but West Virginia scored five runs in the sixth to take a 6-4 lead. Georgetown responded with single runs in the bottom of the sixth and in the seventh to the game, but the Mountaineers took the lead again in the eighth with a run charged to freshman Matt Hollenbeck (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham).
After recording the first out in the inning, Hollenbeck walked Ryan McBroom and Matt Frazer reached on an error by redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur), putting runners on first and second with one out. John Polonius followed with a single to left off junior reliever James Heine (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill), scoring McBroom and giving the Mountaineers the lead for good. Heine escaped further damage when Chris Rasky hit a two-out single to center but a throw from junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) gunned down Polonius going to third and prevented another run from scoring.
The Hoyas, however, were stymied by WVU reliever Ryan Tezak, who struck out six batters in the final two innings to preserve the lead. Tezak had entered the game with runners on the corners and one out in the sixth, but induced a 5-4-3 double play from Garza to keep the game tied.
Georgetown was in control until the sixth inning, with junior Neal Dennison (Houston, Texas/Lamar) throwing five scoreless innings. After recording one out, Dennison loaded the bases when he hit Rasky, gave up a double to Nate Antone and walked Alan Filauro. Brady Wilson reached on a fielder's choice, making it 4-2, but a bloop single to left from Bobby Boyd made it 4-3. McBroom then hit an in between single to third base and a fielding error at first by Poplawski allowed Wilson to score and tied the game. After a walk to Matt Frazer to load the bases, reliever Pablo Vinent (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit) gave up a two-run double to John Polonius, giving WVU a 6-4 lead.
The Hoyas came back with a run in the bottom of the sixth, tying the game. Ravnaas started things off with a double to center, moved to third on a ground out from Blakey and scored when Poplawski singled to center field. In the bottom of the seventh, Lentz hit a one out double to center and scored when Leeson singled and an error allowed him to advance home, tying the game. Junior third baseman Trevor Matern (Santa Clarita, Calif./Hart) singled to put runners on the corners, but WVU turned to Tezak, who induced a double play ball to end the Hoya threat.
West Virginia had taken a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI double from McBroom, but the Hoyas jumped back with a pair of runs in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Ravnaas hit a bunt single to start things and scored when Blakey doubled to the corner in left. Blakey moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when Poplawski hit a line drive sacrifice fly to right.
The lead grew to 3-0 in the fourth when Ravnaas hit a leadoff double to right and scored when Blakey doubled to left. The Hoyas appeared ready to increase the lead when Poplawski singled to left, but Blakey, who made a good turn coming around third, was thrown out at the plate for the second out.
In the fifth, Lentz hit a leadoff double down the right field line and moved to third on Leeson's sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. With two outs, Garza delivered a clutch single to left, pushing the lead to 4-0.
Dennison finished the night throwing 5.2 innings and giving up six runs (four earned) on seven hits with six walks and five strikeouts.