March 7, 2015
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Illinois State (ISU) got four of its five hits in the top of the ninth inning to score the game-winning run as the Georgetown University baseball team fell, 2-1, on Saturday in its first game at the Snowbird Baseball Classic.
Matt Hollenbeck (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro/Horsham) pitched five-plus innings, giving up just one hit and one unearned run while striking out four to record a no-decision. Simon Mathews (West Haven, Conn./Hopkins School) took a tough loss, going four innings in relief and allowing just one run while recording four strikeouts.
Three different Hoyas - Austin Shirley (Strafford, Pa./Conestoga), Nick Collins (Carthage, N.C./Union Pines) and Jake Kuzbel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Ridge) - had two hits as GU out hit the Redbirds, 8-5.
Georgetown (1-7) got on the board right off the bat in the first inning. Shirley led off the inning with a single and stole second base. With two outs, Collins lined a 3-2 pitch into center field to score Shirley from second.
Hollenbeck worked out of trouble in each of the first two innings, despite not giving up a hit. He walked the bases loaded in the first inning but got out of the jam when Shirley made a smooth sliding catch in left field and Chase Bushor (San Diego, Calif./Santa Fe Christian) made a nice play on a tough grounder to second. ISU (6-5) got two runners on base in the second inning, on an error and another walk, but Hollenbeck struck out the side to get out of trouble.
Both pitchers settled down as Hollenbeck retired nine-straight ISU batters until the Redbirds got their first hit with one out in the fifth inning. ISU starter Jacob Hendren set down 13-consecutive Hoyas following the first inning until Shirley led off the sixth inning with a bunt single.
ISU tied the game in the top of the sixth inning with an unearned run. Hollenbeck walked the first batter of the inning and the next reached on an error when Hollenbeck bobbled the sacrifice bunt. With Mathews pitching, the Redbirds sacrificed the two runners into scoring position and the run scored on a ground out to third base.
After not having a baserunner for four-straight innings, the Hoyas put two men on base in each of the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings, but could not push a run across the plate.
The game-winning run scored in the ninth inning when ISU got four-consecutive singles with two outs off of Mathews, who was in his fourth inning of relief.
Georgetown is right back in action on Sunday with a doubleheader against Northwestern. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. with the second contest beginning shortly after the conclusion of the first. The Blue & Gray will start right handers Matt Smith (Cranberry Twp., Pa./Seneca Valley) and Kevin Superko (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley/Phillips Andover) on the mound.