Baseball Falls to Irish




Box Scores: Game 1 - Game 2

BETHESDA, Md. ? The Georgetown baseball team held with No. 4 Notre Dame for as long as its starting pitching held up, as the Hoyas took a 7-4 lead into the top of the fifth in game one, and a 2-0 advantage into the top of the third in game two, before the Fighting Irish went on to prove with their bats why they?re one of the top teams in the country.

Notre Dame, which has the nation?s 16th best scoring offense, ended up taking game one by a score of 18-7 and game two by a margin of 11-4 to sweep the series? opening doubleheader on Saturday at Shirley Povich Field. The Irish improved to 29-5 on the year (9-2 in BIG EAST), while the Hoyas dipped to 20-22 (5-10 in BIG EAST).

Eduardo Pena (Miami, Fla./ Michael Krop) brought a beautiful start to a beautiful day in front of the Hoyas? largest home crowd of the season, as he retired the side in the first, and struck out Notre Dame?s second and third hitters.

Georgetown leadoff man Parker Brooks (Las Vegas, Nev./ Bishop Gorman) reached base in the bottom of the first, but Notre Dame starting pitcher Tom Thornton struck out the next batter and then induced an inning-ending double play to put the Hoyas away in the first.

Designated hitter Matt Bransfield led off the top of the second with a walk, and Steve Andres lined a homer over the right field wall to give the Irish an early 2-0 lead. Cody Rizzo was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat, and Javi Sanchez lifted a deep fly ball to left field, which eluded Ron Cano (El Segundo, Calif./ El Segundo) in left and fell for two bases. After Pena struck out Irish second baseman Zach Sisko, Greg Lopez ripped a single to left, scoring the third run of the game.

Still in the second inning, a shot to the shortstop Dan Dressman was nearly turned for a doubleplay, but Hoya first baseman Jim Supple (Summit, N.J./ St. Peter's Prep) couldn't pick the low throw from second baseman Brooks, and another Notre Dame run crossed the plate to bring the score to 4-0.

Catcher Michael Lombardi (Brookhaven Hamlet, N.Y./ St. Anthony's) began the bottom of the second with a line drive up the middle for a single. Andrew Cleary (Weston, Mass./ Belmont Hill) then knocked an opposite-field single in the next at-bat to put runners on first and second for the Hoyas. Timmy Jones (Ledgewood, N.J./ Morristown) dropped a great bunt down the third base line to sacrifice the runners into scoring position. Thornton then caught Supple looking on a ball on the outside corner, before Matthew Johnson (Bothell, Wash./ Newport) came through with a two-out RBI single to right field to get the Hoyas on the board. Danny Gronski (Sammamish, Wash./ Skyline) flied out in foul territory down the right field line in the next at-bat to end the Hoya threat and leave the score at 4-1 after two innings of play.

After Steve Andres reached on a double down the right field line with one out in the third, Jones made a terrific diving catch in center field to rob Cody Rizzo of a sure hit. Pena later forced a fly out to center and a groundout to third to end the inning.

A walk by Cano and a single by Billy Quinn (Alta Loma, Calif./ Alta Loma) put runners on first and second for the Hoyas in the bottom of the third, and a possible double-play grounder by Lombardi was booted by Irish second baseman Zach Sisko, and forced the bases loaded for Cleary. Cleary responded, knocking his second single of the day to drive in two Hoya runs and bring the score to 4-3.

Timmy Jones walked in the next at-bat to bring the tying run to third and force the bases loaded once again. Thornton then froze Supple on a big curveball to strike him out for the second time of the day. Johnson then battled in a long at-bat, fouling off several balls with two strikes, before ripping a two-RBI single to left. Gronski stuck out looking to end the inning.

Pena held the Irish scoreless in the top of the third and fourth innings, and Brooks began the bottom of the fourth inning with a single to left center. Cano laid down a good bunt to advance the runner, and Quinn nailed an opposite-field drive off the base of the right field fence for an RBI double, the first extra-base hit of the day for the Hoyas.

In the next at-bat, Lombardi brought the Hoya lead to 7-4 with a single down the right field line. With one on and one out, Cleary grounded into a 6-4-3 double-play to end the inning.

Pena pegged Bransfield to start off the top of the fifth inning. It was Pena's third hit batsman of the day. He walked the next batter, Steve Andres on five pitches to put runners on first and second. Cody Rizzo and Javi Sanchez then hit back-to-back RBI singles, and Zach Sisko hit a sac fly to left to tie to game 7-7.

A fielder's choice and error, and three more singles by Notre Dame's Dressman, Edwards and Bransfield scored four unearned runs and brought the Irish lead to 11-7.

That proved to be as close as the Hoyas would get, as Pena took a seat after 4.2 IP, and the Hoyas bullpen struggled both with their control and in their ability to contain the Irish offense. Notre Dame scored the final 14 runs of the game, and at one point, the Georgetown bullpen threw 16 straight balls, walking four consecutive batters in the sixth. Over the two games, Notre Dame reached base eight times on hit-by-pitches.

Georgetown had comparable results in game two, in which they got off to another great start, but collapsed once the arm of the starter fatigued.

Erick Chandler (Somerset, N.J./ Rutgers Prep) took the mound in game two for the Hoyas, and worked a scoreless first, striking out the first two Notre Dame batters of the game.

Cano reached on a hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the first, and Quinn hammered a two-run homer to right field to put the Hoyas up early in the game 2-0.

Notre Dame loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the second without as much as a hit, with two hit batsmen and a catcher's interference call. With a full count and two outs, Georgetown first baseman Jim Supple snagged a hard grounder hit down the line by Dan Dressman to preserve the Hoyas? lead.

The first hit of game two for Notre Dame came in the top of the third, and it was a big one, as Matt Bransfield launched a mammoth homer down the left field line with one aboard to tie the game at two apiece. Chandler had hit four Notre Dame batters in the first two 2.1 innings, and Matt Edwards was on first when Bransfield hit the towering drive that landed just inside the left field foul pole. 

An RBI single by Javi Sanchez scored another run and gave the Irish a 3-2 advantage, before a sacrifice and an inning-ended strikeout put an end to the Notre Dame portion of the third.

A pair of singles by Cano and Lombardi and a double down the line by Cleary scored a Georgetown run in the bottom of the third to tie the game 3-3, but the Hoyas would end up stranding runners on second and third.

Notre Dame went on to score the next eight runs of the game, and the dust settled in the seventh with the Irish up 11-3. Three Georgetown singles in the bottom of the eighth by Brooks, Cano and Lombardi brought the score to 11-4, but it was too little too late for the Hoyas, as that?s where the game finally ended.

Game three of the series is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. tomorrow. Stephen Burns (West Chester, Pa./ Malvern Prep) will go for the Hoyas, while Grant Johnson is slated to take the ball for the Irish. 




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