May 18, 2012
WASHINGTON - Georgetown held a 3-1 lead after four innings and were tied at 4-all in the top of the seventh, but Cincinnati scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to break open a close game en route to an 11-6 win over the Hoyas in a BIG EAST Conference baseball game at Marge Schott Stadium in Cincinnati on Thursday night.
The loss drops Georgetown's record to 23-28 overall and 9-16 in the BIG EAST, while the Bearcats improve to 17-37 and 6-19 in league play.
It was a crucial loss for the Hoyas, who found out before first pitch of their game that eighth place Villanova had lost its series opener at Rutgers, opening a chance for the Blue & Gray to be tied for the eighth and final spot in the BIG EAST Tournament with a win. Now, with two games left, Georgetown needs to finish with at least a tie with the Wildcats, who are 10-15 in the BIG EAST, and have Pittsburgh lose at least one more game to second place Louisville. The Hoyas are seeking their first BIG EAST Tournament appearance since 1986.
Trailing 1-0 after Cincinnati scored an unearned run against Georgetown freshman starter Jack Vander Linden (Dallas, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal), the Hoyas took a 3-1 lead in the fourth when senior catcher Kevin Johnson (Peabody, Mass./Belmont Hill) hit a three-run home run. That blast came with two outs after redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur) hit a leadoff double and senior right fielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal) walked.
The Bearcats tied the game in the fifth on a two-run single from T.J. Jones and took a 4-3 lead in the sixth when Vander Linden gave up a two-out single to Jake Saylor.
Georgetown had a chance to take the lead in the top of the sixth when sophomore Steve Anderson (Albany, N.Y./Guilderland) reached on a fielder's choice and junior Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial) walked, but UC starter Zach Isler induced a fly out to center from Johnson.
The Hoyas, however, tied the game with a run in the seventh, all with two outs. Garza hit a single to left scoring junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester), who had singled and moved to second on a single from junior third baseman Trevor Matern (Santa Clarita, Calif./Hart). Bearcats reliever Thomas Gentile retied Ravnaas on a fly ball to center to end the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, junior reliever James Heine (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) put two runners on with one out before Jones hit a single to break the tie, making it 5-4. Hoya reliever Thomas Polus (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean) gave up a single to load the bases and senior reliever Pablo Vinent (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit) was greeted by a grand slam home run from Braden Kline, giving the Bearcats a 9-4 lead they would not relinquish.
Trailing 11-4 in the ninth, the Hoyas loaded the bases with one out and pushed two runs across - first on a single from Garza and then on a sacrifice fly from Ravnaas - but that was all they would get.
Vander Linden threw 6.0 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a no-decision. Heine took the loss, falling to 0-2 this season.
The teams play the second game of the series on Friday, May 18, with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m.