May 16, 2012
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University baseball team hit the road on Wednesday afternoon, heading to Cincinnati, where the Hoyas will begin a three-game series with the Bearcats on Thursday, May 17. First pitch at Marge Schott Stadium is slated for 6:30 p.m. The series continues on Friday, May 18 (6:30 p.m.), with the regular season closing out on Saturday, May 19 (1 p.m.).
Georgetown enters the weekend with a chance to make the BIG EAST Tournament - which begins on Wednesday, May 23 in Clearwater, Fla. - for the first time since 1986.
The Hoyas took two of three games from West Virginia last weekend and improved to 23-27 overall, including a 9-15 mark in the BIG EAST. GU enters the weekend tied with Pittsburgh (26-24, 9-15) for ninth place, one game behind Villanova (28-24, 10-14) for the eighth, and final spot, in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Hoyas own a tiebreaker with Villanova, winning two of three games against the Wildcats earlier this year, but do not own one against Pittsburgh, who took two of three games from the Blue & Gray.
After helping to lead the Georgetown baseball team to the series win over West Virginia, senior right fielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal) was named the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week. Ravnaas batting .545 in three games against the Mountaineers (6-for-11), with two doubles, one RBI, four runs scored and one stolen base. In Friday's 5-3 win to start the series, he went 2-for-4 with a double, single, one run and one RBI and then went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a single and three runs scored in Saturday's 7-6 loss.
Overall this season, Ravnaas is batting .320 (58-for-181), is third on the team in hits (58) and runs (33) and second in doubles (12), RBI (34) and stolen bases (13). Ravnaas was an All-BIG EAST preseason selection this year and was a 39th round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft.
His weekend was one of several strong performances for the Hoyas at the plate, as senior second Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) batted .500 (6-for-12) with two doubles and two RBI and junior Corbin Blakey (Alpharetta, Ga./Centennial) hit .455 (5-for-11) with three doubles, three runs scored and three RBI.
Junior Charles Steinman (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Chaminade) led a solid performance for the pitching staff. He finished the weekend picking up a win and recording a save while throwing 6.1 scoreless innings, walking two batters and striking out six. In Friday's series opener, he came in with the bases loaded and the tying run on deck and helped to preserve a 5-3 win over the Mountaineers, striking out the side in order in the ninth inning.
Redshirt freshman Jack Vander Linden (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School of Dallas), who has made five career BIG EAST starts, will be on the hill for the Blue & Gray on Friday. Vander Linden is 5-2 with a 4.10 ERA this season, picking up a win in the series opener against the Mountaineers last weekend when he threw 7.0 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits. VanderLinden has thrown at least 5.2 innings in four of his last five starts.
Junior Neal Dennison (Houston, Texas/Lamar), who is 4-3 with a 5.85 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 11 starts this season, Dennison has thrown at least 5.0 innings seven times.
Redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur) leads the Hoyas. He is batting a team-high .376, which ranks second in the BIG EAST, and tops the team in hits (77), doubles (18), home runs (7) and runs batted in (37).
Junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) is second on the team with a .323 batting average. He is second on the team with 35 runs scored and 64 hits, tied for fourth in doubles (8), leads the team with four triples and has a team-best 17 stolen bases.