April 27, 2012
The Georgetown University baseball team set out today on a bus bound for Pittsburgh, where the Hoyas will face the Panthers in a crucial BIG EAST Conference weekend series beginning on Saturday, April 28.
The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 28 starting at 1 p.m. at Charles Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex. The final game of the three-game series will be played on Sunday, April 29 at 1 p.m.
Georgetown enters the weekend with an 18-22 overall record and a 5-10 mark in the BIG EAST. The Hoyas are on game behind Villanova for the eighth, and final, spot for the BIG EAST Tournament as the top eight teams in the league quality for the league championship. Pittsburgh enters the weekend with a 19-20 overall record and a 4-11 mark in league play.
Senior right-handed pitcher Will Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) will start for the Hoyas in Saturday's season opener. Harris is 4-2 with a 3.15 earned run average and will square off against Pitt starter Ethan Mildren (3-4, 4-.16 ERA). Harris threw 8.0 innings and allowed only two runs while scattering 10 hits with two and four strikeouts in a no-decision against Notre Dame last weekend. Harris has thrown at least 6.0 innings in his last four starts, allowing seven earned runs in 29 innings for a 2.17 earned run average.
In the nightcap, junior Neal Dennison (Houston, Texas/Lamar), who is 3-2 with a 5.77 ERA, will start. The Panthers will start Matt Iannazzo (5-2, 4.57 ERA). Dennison, a converted reliever, gave up seven earned runs in 4.2 innings last weekend against Notre Dame, but has thrown at least 5.0 innings in four of his eight starts.
In Sunday's series finale, freshman Jack Vander Linden (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School of Dallas), who has made two career BIG EAST starts, will be on the hill for the Blue & Gray. Vander Linden is 4-2 with a 4.54 ERA this season. He will go up against Pitt starter Matt Wotherspoon (3-2, 4.96). Vander Linden was named to the league's weekly honor roll last week after allowing only two runs on six hits in an 8-2 win at Villanova, giving the Hoyas the series win.
Georgetown is paced by an offense that has ranked among the top half in the BIG EAST, ranking fifth in team batting (.281) and in runs scored (247).
Redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur).leads the team in batting with a .373 average (60-for-161, and has a team-best 14 doubles, with two triples, and leads the team with five home runs and 29 RBI. Garza is batting a team-high .368 in league play, with six doubles, three home runs and nine RBI.
Junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) is second on the team with a .325 batting average (53-for-163) and has scored a team-high 32 runs with eight doubles, four triples, one home run, 20 RBI and a team-best 14 stolen bases.
Senior second baseman Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) has been outstanding in league play, ranking second on the team with a .348 average in 15 BIG EAST games. He is second on the team in hits (16) and has two doubles with seven RBI.