May 19, 2012
WASHINGTON - All Georgetown's baseball team wanted this week was a chance to play for a spot in the BIG EAST Tournament. After losing the first two games of a series at Cincinnati, the Hoyas were still alive in their regular season finale and the Hoyas responded, tying the school record for hits in a game en route to a 15-4 win over the Bearcats on Saturday afternoon at Marge Schott Stadium.
In order to make the BIG EAST Tournament for the first time since 1986, the Hoyas needed help and they nearly had the tide sway their way. Villanova (10-17) was swept in a three-game series by Rutgers and Pittsburgh (10-17) lost two of three games to Louisville, forcing a three-way with the Hoyas, who also finished in n10-17 in league play. But because the Panthers had a better winning percentage against the other two teams, Pittsburgh advanced to next week's BIG EAST Tournament.
Had West Virginia (9-18), who lost 5-4 in 12 innings, held on to beat USF and complete a three-game sweep, it would have forced a four-way tie for eighth place and Georgetown - with a better winning percentage - would have won that tiebreaker and advanced to the tournament.
The 15-4 win closed out Georgetown's 2012 season with a 24-29 overall record, including a 10-17 mark in BIG EAST play, the most for the team since the 2006 season. En route to the win, Georgetown had 25 hits in the game, tying the single game school record, established in 1999 during a game against Delaware State.
The Hoyas were led on Saturday by redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur), who went 4-for-6 at the plate and drove in four runs while scoring three with a home run, double and two singles. Garza's four hits gave him 86 for the season, tying the single season school record for hits set by Kurt Kaull in 1983.
Every player who batted for Georgetown had at least one hit, while seven players had at least two. One day after going 0-for-6 at the plate, senior right fielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal) bounced back with a team-high five hits, scoring three runs and driving in two.
Junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) also had four hits, going 4-for-6 with a double, three singles and one stolen base, while junior third baseman Trevor Matern (Santa Clarita, Calif./Hart) was 3-for-6 with three singles, two runs and one RBI and sophomore outfielder Christian Venditti (Newtonville, Mass./St. Sebastian's) was 3-for-6 with two singles and a home run, a grand slam in the fifth inning that pushed the Hoya lead to 7-1
That would be enough for senior right-handed pitcher Will Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep), who started and went 5.0 innings. Harris, who struggled in his last two outings, allowed only one run on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts as he improved to 5-4 this season.
Junior left-hander Thomas Polus (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean) gave up two runs on three hits in two innings, while freshman Matt Hollenbeck (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) threw a scoreless eighth inning and junior James Heine (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) gave up one run in the ninth inning.
The Hoyas jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single from Venditti and increased the lead to 3-0 on an RBI single from Garza and a sacrifice fly from Ravnaas. After UC cut the lead to 3-1 in the fourth, three-straight singles from Ravnaas, junior Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial) and senior catcher Kevin Johnson (Peabody, Mass./Belmont Hill) set the table up for Venditti, who blasted a grand slam to left, making it 7-1.
A solo home run from Garza gave Georgetown an 8-1 lead in the sixth and a five-run seventh - highlighted by RBI doubles from senior second baseman Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) and Garza, as well as RBI singles from Johnson and Ravnaas - increased the lead to 13-3.