Feb. 14, 2014
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - While most of the east coast digs itself out after the most recent winter storm, the Georgetown baseball team heads south for the opening weekend of the collegiate baseball season. The Hoyas' three-game weekend in North Carolina was pushed back a day and Georgetown will now play single games on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The Blue & Gray will open the 2014 campaign against Marshall at noon on Saturday before taking on the weekend hosts, Wake Forest, on Sunday at 4 p.m. and closing out against Towson on Monday morning at 10 a.m. All three games will be played at Wake Forest's Gene Hooks Field.
Georgetown, under 14th-year head coach Pete Wilk
, is coming off of a 2013 season that saw the Hoyas finish 25-28, their first 25-win season since 2004, and a 5-19 mark in the BIG EAST. The Hoyas return six players who started 30 or more games, including Nick Collins
(Carthage, N.C./Union Pines) who was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team last week and led Georgetown in both batting average (.333) and on-base percentage (.383) last season. The pitching staff also returns eight members from the 2013 squad, including 42 of last year's 53 starts and 106 total appearances in 2013.
Scouting the Opponents
Marshall is coming off of a 20-34 record from a season a year ago, finishing in last place in Conference USA with a 6-18 mark. While the Thundering Herd , like the Hoyas, return 18 letterwinners from 2013, they have 13 newcomers and only two seniors on the roster. Last season, Marshall batted .256 as a team, hitting just 10 home runs and averaging 4.1 runs per game, while the pitching staff had a team ERA of 4.51.
The host Demon Deacons finished the 2013 campaign at 28-27 and 9-20 in the powerful ACC. They return 21 players, led by center fielder Evan Stephens, who batted .358 last spring. As a team, Wake Forest hit .273 and hit 30 home runs while averaging more than six runs per game. The Demon Deacons had a team ERA of 4.55. Wake Forest was picked to finish sixth in the ACC's Atlantic Division in 2014.
Towson is one of Georgetown's two opponents this season that appeared in the NCAA Tournament last spring. The Tigers finished with a 30-30 record last season, winning the CAA Tournament as the fourth seed. They return five All-CAA players in 2014, led by redshirt senior Ken Wertz who batted .338 with 13 home runs and a league-high 65 RBI last season. Towson batted .296 as a team last year, including an incredible .406 in the CAA Tournament. They hit 21 home runs and averaged just over seven runs per game while posting a 5.09 team ERA.
Sunday will be the first of four matchups in 2014 between the Hoyas and the Tigers.
The 2014 Hoyas have teamed up with the St. Baldrick's Foundation for the spring season to help raise money for research to cure childhood cancer.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a childhood cancer charity funding research to help kids diagnosed with cancer. The Foundation raises money primarily through head-shaving events. Volunteers, sponsored by family and friends, shave their heads in solidarity with children who typically lose their hair during cancer treatment. Last year, St. Baldrick's raised over $34 million dollars, and the team plans to contribute to their 2014 success.
Members of the 2014 Georgetown team have pledged to shave their heads following the Hoyas' April 5th game against Xavier at Shirley Povich Field. The Blue & Gray plan on honoring local kids who are fighting this terrible condition as well that day. The team's goals include becoming the most successful athletic team to partake in a St. Baldrick's event, as well as place in the top 10 in their history.
To donate to their efforts please click here.