Jan. 2, 2013
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University baseball team will be back on campus next week as classes start for the spring semester and first pitch for the 2013 baseball season just over a month away.
The BIG EAST Conference released its annual preseason Coaches' Poll, with the Hoyas picked to finish in 11th place among the 12 teams in the league.
Louisville, who tied for the 2012 BIG EAST regular season title, was picked as the league favorite by the coaches, received eight first place votes and 98 points, with St. John's (82 points) in second and Notre Dame third (81 points). Connecticut and South Florida rounded out the top-five. Georgetown was picked 10th .
The coaches also chose Connecticut second baseman L.J. Mazzilli as the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year and named Seton Hall righthander Jon Prosinski the BIG EAST Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
Georgetown finished the 2012 season with a 24-29 overall record and a 10-17 mark in the BIG EAST. Georgetown tied for eighth place in the league and missed out on an appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament by percentage points. The team's 24 overall wins and 10 league wins were the most for the program since 2006.
The Hoyas will be led by senior centerfielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester), an All-BIG EAST selection last year as well as a 39th round pick of the Kansas Royals in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft. Leeson was one of two Hoyas selected in the MLB Draft, joined by shortstop Mike Garza (C'12), who was selected in the 20th round by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Leeson was an All-BIG EAST Third Team selection as a junior. He earned all-league honors after finishing second on the team in batting with a .325 average, while leading the team with 40 runs scored, eight triples and 18 stolen bases. He was second on the team in hits (40) and second in total bases (93).
Georgetown will also return several veterans in the pitching rotation, led by seniors Neal Dennison (Houston, Texas/Lamar) and Charles Steinman (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Chaminade). Dennison posted a 4-3 record in 12 starts last season, while Steinman went 4-5 with four saves and a 4.05 earned run average. Also returning to the rotation is redshirts sophomore Jack Vander Linden (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School), who went 5-2 with a 4.13 ERA.
Georgetown will open the 2013 regular season on Friday, Feb. 15 (4 p.m.), on the road at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C at 4 p.m. The Hoyas will then stay in Spartanburg, S.C. to play UNC-Asheville on Saturday, Feb. 16 (noon), and USC-Upstate on Sunday, Feb. 17 (1 p.m.).
The first weekend of league play is March 22-24, with the Hoyas opening up at Connecticut. The 2013 BIG EAST Baseball Championship will return to Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., May 22-26, with the championship game to be televised on ESPNU.