May 10, 2012
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University baseball team will be back in action again this weekend, hosting BIG EAST Conference rival West Virginia for the first game of a three-game series on Friday, May 11 at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, Md. First pitch at the home of Hoya baseball is slated for 7 p.m.
The teams will play again on Saturday night, May 12, with first pitch slated for 7 p.m. Prior to that game, Head Coach Pete Wilk and the baseball team will recognize eight graduating seniors. The series finale will be held on Sunday, May 13, with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.
The Hoyas had attempted to play at home on Wednesday night against Delaware State, but despite valiant efforts to get the game in, were washed out by passing storms in the area. Georgetown is coming off a 5-4 win over Seton Hall last Sunday, improving the team's record to 21-26 overall and 7-14 in the BIG EAST. The Blue & Gray are just two games behind Villanova and one behind Pittsburgh entering the final two weekends of regular season conference play. The series with West Virginia (18-29, 6-15) this weekend will be crucial in the team's efforts to make the BIG EAST Tournament for the first time since 1986.
Redshirt freshman Jack Vander Linden (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School of Dallas), who has made four career BIG EAST starts, will be on the hill for the Blue & Gray on Friday. Vander Linden is 4-2 with a 4.13 ERA this season. Vander Linden was named to the league's weekly honor roll on April 16 after allowing only two runs on six hits in an 8-2 win at Villanova, giving the Hoyas the series win. In the series finale at Pittsburgh on April 29, he threw 5.2 innings and gave up three runs on six hits in a no-decision. He continued his strong starts last weekend against Seton Hall, allowing one run on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 7.0 innings as he took a no-decision in a 2-1 loss. VanderLinden has thrown at least 5.2 innings in three of his last four starts.
In Sunday's series finale, junior Neal Dennison (Houston, Texas/Lamar), who is 4-3 with a 5.80 ERA, will start Saturday's Senior Day game. After three rough starts during the month of April, Dennison turned things around in his first start in May, throwing 7.0 innings and allowing one run one seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in a 5-4 win over Seton Hall last weekend. In 10 starts this season, Dennison has thrown at least 5.0 innings six times.
Senior right-handed pitcher Will Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) is slated to start in the regular season home finale on Sunday for the Hoyas. Harris is 4-4 with a 3.01 earned run average, including a 2-4 mark in BIG EAST play with a 2.30 ERA. He has thrown at least 6.0 innings in five of his last six starts, allowing nine earned runs in 37.2 innings for a 2.18 ERA. He allowed one run on two hits in 2.0 innings last weekend against Seton Hall.
Redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur) leads the Hoyas. He is batting a team-high .380, which ranks second in the BIG EAST, and tops the team in hits (73), doubles (17), home runs (6) and runs batted in (35).
Junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) is second on the team with a .322 batting average. He is tied for the team lead with 35 runs scored, is second on the team in hits (59), tied for fourth in doubles (8), leads the team with four triples and has a team-best 15 stolen bases.
Senior right fielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas./All Saints' Episcopal) is third among all starters with a .306 batting average. Ravnaas has 10 doubles, two home runs and is second on the team with 33 RBI.
Junior Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial), who hit a two-run double in the seventh inning of the 5-4 win over Seton Hall on Sunday, is batting .298 with eight doubles, three home runs and one RBI.
Senior catcher Kevin Johnson (Peabody, Mass./Belmont Hill), who is batting .255, has six doubles, one triple, three home runs, 22 RBI and is tied for the team lead in runs scored with 35.