July 7, 2014
WASHINGTON – The Hoyas battled to an overall record of 19-29 this season. The 2014 campaign featured several memorable occurrences for the Blue & Gray, both on and off the field. Here is a look back at 10 highlights from this past spring.
Georgetown Shaves Heads for St. Baldrick’s
On Saturday, April 5, baseball took a back seat at Shirley Povich Field. Following Georgetown’s game against Xavier, members of the baseball team shaved their heads in partnership with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The Hoyas began fundraising heavily for the cause in February with senior first baseman Steve Anderson (Albany, N.Y./Northfield Mt. Hermon Prep (Mass.)/Guilderland) leading the way.
On April 5, the team had raised nearly $46,000. Since the head-shaving event, the funds have continued to trickle in, reaching $47,650 to make the Hoyas the second-highest fundraising collegiate baseball team in St. Baldrick’s 14-year history.
Collins Named All-BIG EAST - Twice
Sophomore Nick Collins (Carthage, N.C./Union Pines) earned the unusual distinction of being named to 2014 All-BIG EAST postseason teams at two different positions. It was just the second time in the history of the BIG EAST that a player has earned selections at two different positions.
Collins, who is playing for the Chatham Anglers in the prestigious Cape Cod League this summer, started all 48 games for the Hoyas, with 25 starts coming behind the plate and 23 as the team’s designated hitter. He led the Hoyas with a .351 batting average and a .418 on-base percentage while ranking second on the Blue & Gray in RBI (38), runs scored (31), was tied for second in home runs (2) and finished third in doubles (8).
Anderson Goes Out with a Bang
2014 was a career year for Anderson, capping a four-year stretch on the Hilltop with his best statistical season. The senior slugger set career highs in batting average (.344), hits (63), home runs (5), RBI (47), doubles (13) and runs scored (28). He led the Hoyas in home runs and RBI while finishing second in both batting average and hits.
Anderson earned four weekly awards from the BIG EAST during the season, including being named the Player of the Week on March 31.
Hoyas Sweep Three-Game Series in 32 Hours
In Georgetown’s first home series of the season, Feb. 21-22, the Hoyas swept a three-game series from the Hartford Hawks in a span of 32 hours. Included in the sweep were two walk-off wins, a five-RBI performance and two wins against pitchers taken in the top 10 rounds of the 2014 MLB Draft.
The series opened with a Friday night doubleheader sweep where the Hoyas came away with a 13-inning, 4-3 victory in the opener and a 6-3 win in the nightcap. The series-opening win came against Hartford’s Sean Newcomb, who was taken 15th overall in June’s draft. The Hoyas completed the weekend sweep with an 11-inning, 11-10 victory on Saturday.
Anderson was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll after the weekend.
Hollenbeck Strong in All Situations
Matt Hollenbeck (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) had a strong campaign in 2014. The junior southpaw, who is pitching for Falmouth in the Cape Cod League this summer, made 18 appearances on the mound for the Hoyas, including four starts, compiling a 5-2 record and a 3.18 ERA. He led the pitching staff in ERA, tied for the team lead in wins while finishing second with 50 strikeouts. He was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll during Georgetown’s spring break trip to Florida.
Hollenbeck finished the season strong, joining the rotation for the final two weekends of the regular season. He picked up wins over Villanova and Butler, pitching seven strong innings and recording a career-high eight strikeouts in both games.
Smith Enjoys Breakout Sophomore Season
Matt Smith (Cranberry Twp, Pa./Seneca Valley) opened his sophomore campaign second in Georgetown’s starting rotation. After the first weekend however, he was bumped up to the Friday night ace due to injury and responded quite well.
Smith finished the 2013 season with a 5-5 record and a 3.21 ERA in 13 starts. He pitched a team-high 84 innings and led the pitching staff with 55 strikeouts and was tied for the team lead in wins. He was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on four separate occasions and pitched at least seven innings six different times and went eight innings three times. He pitched eight shutout innings against Villanova on May 2, setting a career-high with nine strikeouts.
Freshmen Making an Immediate Impact
While the Hoyas received contributions from many players on the roster, four freshmen made an immediate difference in Georgetown’s lineup.
Joseph Bialkowski (Raleigh, N.C./Needham B. Broughton) began to find his stride towards the end of the season. After appearing in just 12 of Georgetown’s first 34 games, Bialkowski found his name in the starting lineup for 13 of the final 14 games of the season. In that span, he batted .267 (12-for45) with four doubles and five RBI. He also made three scoreless appearances on the mound.
David Ellingson (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands College Park) started the season as a dominant reliever out of the GU bullpen, allowing just two earned runs in 14 innings in three relief appearances over the first three weekends. He moved into the starting rotation on March 11 against South Dakota State and finished the season making eight starts, and 13 appearances overall. His 58.2 innings pitched were second on the team and his 3.38 ERA and 40 strikeouts both ranked third.
Beau Hall (Seaville, N.J./Ocean City) cracked the starting lineup during Georgetown’s spring break trip to Florida. He became a fixture for the Hoyas in centerfield, overall appearing in 42 games. He batted .248 and finished second on the team with eight stolen bases.
Jake Kuzbel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) appeared in all 48 games for the Hoyas, starting in 45 of them. While primarily starting at second base, he also made several spot starts at shortstop as well as a few appearances at third base. At the plate, Kuzbel batted .224 (36-for-161) with six doubles, a triple and his 19 RBI ranked third on the team.
Hoyas Put Together Several Impressive Streaks
During the season, several Hoyas put together impressive, lengthy offensive streaks. Arguably the most notable was senior Patrick Camporini (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic), who reached base safely in 31-consecutive games. The streak started on March 16 against Iowa, GU’s final game at the Snowbird Classic in Florida and lasted until the final game of the season, May 13, at UMBC.
Ryan Busch (Falcon Heights, Minn./Roseville Area) also had an 18-game on-base streak during the course of the spring and Collins and Anderson both finished the season having reached base safely in 18-straight games. Additionally, Anderson and Busch each had their own 12-game hitting streaks during the season.
Hoyas Make Impressions in the BIG EAST
Along with Collins being named to two All-BIG EAST teams at two different positions, several other Hoyas earned recognition from the conference throughout the season.
When the regular season ended, Collins was leading the entire BIG EAST with his 66 hits. Additionally, Busch scored 39 runs in 41 games, which led the conference with a .95 runs per game average.
Looking Forward to 2015
There is a lot for Georgetown fans to be excited about for the 2015 season. The Hoyas return 23 of the 27 student-athletes on their roster, including the entire pitching staff and seven of the Blue & Gray’s starting lineup.
Georgetown will also be boosted by the return of pitchers Jack Vander Linden (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School of Dallas), Jordan Chudacoff (Highland Park, Ill./New Trier/Lawrenceville) and Vince Leoni (West Hill, Calif./Crespi Carmelite) who will all return from injury for the 2015 season.
Vander Linden will return for his final season of eligibility after undergoing Tommy John surgery this past spring. Vander Linden opened this season as the Friday night starter for the Hoyas and had a 10-strikeout performance in the season-opener versus Marshall. At the time of his injury, Vander Linden was leading the nation with a 19.5 strikeout per nine innings ratio.