May 13, 2012
Bethesda, Md. - Georgetown took advantage of two walks in the 11th inning and senior pitcher Tommy Isaacs (Ponte Vedre Beach, Fla./Bolles), pinch-running for the first time in his career, came home with the winning run on a single from junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) as the Hoyas beat West Virginia, 3-2, in a BIG EAST Conference baseball game at Shirley Povich Field on Sunday afternoon.
The extra inning thriller gave Georgetown the series win against the Mountaineers, as the Hoyas improve to 23-27 overall and 9-15 in the BIG EAST, while WVU falls to 20-31 and 7-17 in league play. Georgetown's nine BIG EAST wins are the most for the team since winning 10 during the 2006 season.
Combined with Villanova's loss at Cincinnati, Georgetown is tied with Pittsburgh and one game behind Villanova for the eighth, and final, spot in the BIG EAST Tournament. Georgetown is seeking its first BIG EAST Tournament appearance since 1986. Georgetown plays at Cincinnati next weekend, while Villanova is at Rutgers and Pittsburgh hosts Louisville.
The relief effort of junior Charles Steinman (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Chaminade) gave the Hoyas a chance to win the game. He entered the game in the seventh and went 4.1 innings, allowing no runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts as he improved to 4-4 this season.
In the 11th inning, sophomore left fielder Christian Venditti (Newtonville, Mass./St. Sebastian's) and senior second baseman Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) worked WVU reliever Ryan Tezak for walks. Isaacs went to second as a pinch-runner and Leeson hit a ball to the hole at short that John Polonius was able to get his glove on. Leeson reached first, but the throw to third went behind the bag and Isaacs scampered home with the winning run.
Tied at 2-all after seven innings, the Hoyas had chances to take the lead, putting two runners on in the eighth and ninth, respectively. In the eighth, senior right fielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal) walked and Junior Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial) was hit by a pitch to put two on with none out. Ravnaas was thrown out stealing and the next two batters grounded out.
In the ninth, junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) singled and stole second and junior third baseman Trevor Matern (Santa Clarita, Calif./Hart) walked, sending WVU starter Dan Dierdorff to the dugout after 123 pitches. Reliever Ryan Tezak induced a pop fly from redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur) to end the inning.
Like they did in the first two games of the series, Georgetown jumped out to an early lead, holding a 2-0 advantage after five innings. Junior left-hander Thomas Polus (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean) entered in relief in the third inning and was solid for the Hoyas, He went 4.2 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
Leading 2-0 in the sixth, Polus gave up a leadoff single to Ryan McBroom and a double to left from Matt Frazer put runners on second and third with none out. A ground out from John Polonius brought in McBroom and made it 2-1, but Polus induced a pop fly and struck out the final batter to get out of the inning. The Mountaineers tied the game in the seventh when Nate Antone hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, to third on a fly out to center and scored on a pass ball.
After two scoreless innings, the Hoyas were on the board first with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Blakey hit a two-out single to center scoring Matern, who had hit a one-out single up the middle and moved to third when Ravnaas reached on a hard-hit single through the right side.
The lead grew to 2-0 in the fourth when senior catcher Kevin Johnson (Peabody, Mass./Belmont Hill) hit a leadoff double to left, moved to third on a ground out from junior left fielder Paul Bello (Towaca, N.J./Delbarton) and scored when Lentz lined a sacrifice fly to center.
Leading 2-1 in the sixth after WVU finally got on the board, the Blue & Gray had a chance to get the run back when they put the first two runners on base after a walk to junior Danny Poplawski (Bellevue, Wash./Overlake) and a single from Johnson. Bello's bunt attempt, however, popped up at the plate and Poplawski was thrown out at second.
Senior right-hander Will Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) threw the first two innings and allowed one hit with one walk and one strikeout before making way for Polus.
Georgetown closes out the 2012 regular season next weekend with a three-game series at Cincinnati. The first game will be played on Thursday, May 18, with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m.