April 19, 2012
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University baseball team will host Notre Dame on Friday, April 20 for the start of a crucial BIG EAST Conference baseball series this weekend. All games will be held at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, Md. The series will start with a doubleheader on Friday, with first pitch for Game One slated for 4 p.m. The second game will start approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opener.
The series had originally been scheduled for three nine inning games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but the teams will play a doubleheader on Friday because of expected poor weather over the weekend in the D.C. Metropolitan area. The final game of the series will be played either on Saturday, April 21 or Sunday, April 22.
Live coverage of Friday's doubleheader will be available on the Georgetown Athletics website - www.guhoyas.com - with Tim Murray calling all of the action.
The Hoyas are coming off a series win over Villanova last weekend in Pennsylvania. The Hoyas won the opening game of the series on Friday, 6-5, and closed the series out with an 8-2 win on Sunday. It was the seventh win in the last 11 games for the Hoyas, who improve to 18-18 overall and 5-7 in the BIG EAST. It was also the first BIG EAST road series win for the Blue & Gray since taking two of three from South Florida in 2008.
Notre Dame enters the weekend with a 19-16 overall record and a 6-6 mark in league play after taking two of three games from Cincinnati last weekend.
Senior right-handed pitcher Will Harris (Winter Haven, Fla./Trinity Prep) will start Friday's series opener. Harris is 4-2 overall with a 3.29 earned run average this season, including a 2-2 mark and a 2.39 ERA against BIG EAST opponents. Harris has thrown at least 6.0 innings in each of his last three starts, yielding only five earned runs in 21.0 innings.
Junior right-hander Neal Dennison (Houston, Texas/Lamar) will take the hill in the nightcap. Dennison is 3-1 with a 4.85 ERA overall this season and has a 1-1 mark with a 6.43 ERA in league games. He struggled in his last outing, allowing six runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings against Villanova, but picked up his first BIG EAST win in a 6-3 win over then-No. 18 Louisville, yielding two runs on five hits in 6.0 innings.
Redshirt freshman Jack Vander Linden (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School of Dallas), who was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll after helping lead the Hoyas to an 8-2 win at Villanova last Sunday, will start the third game. Vander Linden, a 6-5 right-handed pitcher, started his first career conference game and went 7.0 innings, giving up only two runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Overall this season, Vander Linden is 4-1 with a 4.42 earned run average in 10 appearances.
It was the fourth time this season a Hoya player has been named to the Weekly Honor Roll. Vander Linden joins senior right fielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal), who was named twice in February, and junior Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial), who was named on April 2 after leading the Hoyas to a series win against Rutgers.
Redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur) leads an offense that ranks fifth in the league in team batting average (.288), third in runs scored (234) and fourth in hits (368). He is batting .372 (55-for-148), which ranks fifth in the league, and is third among all league players in hits.
Junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester), who is in the midst of a five-game hit streak, is second on the team with a .344 batting average (52-for-151) and leads the team in runs scored (32), triples (4) and stolen bases (14).
In 12 BIG EAST games, senior second baseman Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) is batting a team-best .389 (14-for-36), which ranks fourth in the league, and has a .477 on-base percentage, which ranks ninth among all league players.