June 29, 2015
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown baseball team had one of its most successful seasons in 2015, enjoying several highlights during the season, both individually and as a team. Here is a look back at 10 highlights from this past spring.
25 Wins -- Georgetown won 25 games in 2015 for the eighth time in program history. It is the fourth time under Head Coach Pete Wilk that the Hoyas have reached the 25-win mark and the ninth time in his tenure that they have won at least 20 games.
Strong Florida trip -- The Hoyas got off to a rocky start to the season, stumbling out to a 1-7 record. However, Georgetown turned things around on its 10-day spring break trip to Florida where, playing seven games in eight days, the Hoyas went 5-2 to right the ship. After opening the trip with a tough, 2-1 loss to Illinois State, the Blue & Gray bounced back to sweep Big Ten-opponent Northwestern in a doubleheader, take one of two games from Western Michigan and beat Lehigh, a 2015 NCAA Tournament team, twice.
Play of Freshmen -- Wilk and the Hoyas benefitted from a steady line of production from the 11-member freshman class. The position players combined to start 104 games and bat .254 with 58 RBI. The pitchers made a total of 26 appearances on the mound, including 14 starts, and combined for seven wins and a 3.75 ERA. Chase Bushor (San Diego, Calif./Santa Fe Christian) finished third on the team with 31 RBI and led the way with 20 two-out RBI. He was selected to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on March 23. Austin Shirley (Strafford, Pa./Conestoga) batted in the leadoff position for much of the season and finished with a .382 on-base percentage, including 22 walks to only 20 strikeouts. Michael DeRenzi (Mendham, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) made 19 starts in right field and finished with a .296 batting average in 71 at-bats. On the mound, Kevin Superko (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley/Phillips Andover) was GU's Sunday starter and compiled a 3-2 record with a 3.65 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 14 total appearances, covering 56.2 innings. He was named the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week on April 27 and to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on May 18. Jimmy Swad (Washington, D.C./St. Albans) made 12 pitching appearances, including three starts, and tied for second on the staff with four wins, finishing the season with a perfect 4-0 record, while registering a 3.94 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 29.2 innings.
Power surge -- After hitting just 10 home runs as a team in 2014, Georgetown powered out 23 home runs this season, the most since 2012. Six different Hoyas set career highs in home runs, led by Nick Collins (Carthage, N.C./Union Pines), who led the BIG EAST with seven round-trippers. Ryan Busch (Falcon Heights, Minn./Roseville Area) hit six and AC Carter (Winter Park, Fla./Orangewood Christian) added four to also finish among the BIG EAST leaders.
Additionally, Collins and Busch each had games in which they hit two home runs, a feat that had not been accomplished by a Georgetown player since Dan Capeless hit two home runs against St. John's on April 24, 2010.
Pitching Improvements -- With the addition of new pitching coach Erik Supplee, the Georgetown pitching staff saw a massive improvement in 2015, improving from a 5.30 ERA from a season ago to a program-record 3.95 ERA in this year. In 39 additional innings in 2015, the Hoyas allowed 45 fewer earned runs and 37 fewer walks while registering 59 more strikeouts. The Hoyas shut out three opponents this year -- Brown, then-No. 12 Virginia and Coppin State -- after having not pitched a shutout since the 2013 season. Additionally, all three weekend starters, Matt Hollenbeck (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham), Matt Smith (Cranberry Twp., Pa./Seneca Valley) and Superko made it through the season without missing a start.
Virginia Game -- On March 24, the Hoyas traveled to Davenport Field for a midweek matchup with the then-ranked No. 12 Virginia Cavaliers, who were coming off of a runner-up finish at the 2014 College World Series. Behind five perfect innings from Simon Mathews (West Haven, Conn./Hopkins School) and a solo home run from Carter, GU shut out the Cavaliers, 1-0, for the program's first win over a ranked opponents since a 6-3 win over No. 18 Louisville on April 7, 2012. Virginia went on to win the 2015 College World Series.
First BIG EAST Championship appearance since 1986 -- On the final day of the regular season, the Hoyas clinched a spot in the 2015 BIG EAST Championships, ending a 29-year postseason drought. At the BIG EAST Championship, held at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, the site of the College World Series, fourth-seeded Georgetown did not go down without a fight, falling to top-seeded, and eventual BIG EAST champions St. John's, 2-1, in the final innings. GU bowed out against Seton Hall, but not after Busch hit a leadoff home run to give the Hoyas an early 1-0 lead.
Program Record Three Draft Picks -- When the 2015 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft took place, June 8-10, three Hoyas heard their names called by major league teams. Collins was taken in the eighth round, 248th overall by the Oakland Athletics, becoming the third-highest draft pick in Georgetown history. He is currently playing for Oakland's rookie league team, the AZL Athletics. Curtiss Pomeroy (Shrewsbury, Mass./St. John's HS/Phillips Andover) was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 28th round, 840th overall, and Carter set the record when he was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 40th round, 1,187th overall. Carter has instead chosen to pursue a professional career overseas and has signed with the LLN Phoenix of the Belgian Professional Baseball League (KBBSF).
Program Record Four All-BIG EAST Selections -- When the BIG EAST announced its postseason baseball awards on May 19, a program-record four Hoyas were selected to All-BIG EAST teams. Collins and Smith were both named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. Collins earned spots at both catcher and designated hitter while Smith was one of four starting pitchers on the first team. Additionally, Busch and David Ellingson (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands College Park) were both selected to the All-BIG EAST Second Team at shortstop and relief pitcher, respectively.
Nick Collins -- Collins had a season to remember in 2015, leading not only the Hoyas, but also the entire BIG EAST in several offensive categories. His stellar play led to him being named Georgetown's first BIG EAST Player of the Year. He was also selected to the All-Tournament Team following the BIG EAST Championships, in which he went 3-for-8 with a run scored. Collins was also named to the ECAC Second Team and the ABCA/Rawlings East First Team before he was taken by the Oakland Athletics in the eighth round of the MLB Draft. During the season, Collins was named to the preliminary Johnny Bench Award Watch List, given annually to the top Division I collegiate catcher.