Baseball Goes 1-2 Against Georgetown in Big East Opening Weekend


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Villanova picked up one win in its three-game series against the Hoyas.

James Haupt, Staff Writer

The Big East opener made for a thrilling weekend of Villanova baseball. The Wildcats hosted Georgetown in a three-games series that featured high-level offenses on both sides. Villanova finished the weekend, 1-2, bringing its overall record to 5-21. In the first game, the Wildcats lost, 10-5, despite a strong performance. They bounced back on Saturday and won, 15-4. But the Wildcats couldn’t keep this momentum going into Sunday as they suffered a blowout of their own, losing, 11-1. It was an okay start in the Big East for a struggling Villanova team against an impressive Georgetown team. 

Friday’s game between Villanova and Georgetown was an offensive frenzy. There were some big performances all around, despite the loss for the Wildcats, and a few players stood out. Senior center fielder AJ Hansen did his job as the leadoff hitter, going 2-for-4 with a walk. He’s been a consistent bat at the top of the order all season. Freshman second baseman Michael Whooley had an impressive performance as well, going 2-for-4 with one run scored. He filled in for the injured junior Cameron Hassert, and did not disappoint. The pitching was the main problem for the Wildcats as they allowed 13 free bases via walks or HBPs. Although he added to the HBP tally, graduate pitcher Zach Camp was the only bright spot for the Wildcats pitchers on Friday as he finished with two strikeouts, zero hits and zero runs allowed in 2.1 innings out of the bullpen.

“[We] handed them way too many bases,” head coach Kevin Mulvey said. “The offense had a good day. They battled early and fought to put balls in play.”

 The Wildcats were able to take this offense into the next game, and they destroyed Georgetown. Every player seemed to chip in for this huge win. Most of the Wildcats’ runs came from two innings, the fifth and eighth. They scored five runs in the fifth, highlighted by an RBI single from senior first baseman Jack O’Reilly and a 3-RBI double from graduate shortstop Craig Larsen. They topped this inning in the eighth, where they put up eight runs featuring a two-run homer from graduate left fielder Paul Cooke and a 3-RBI double from senior catcher John Whooley. Whooley’s brother, Michael, continued his strong play at the plate in this game as well as batted 3-for-3 with two walks, two runs and one RBI. On the mound, junior pitcher Devin Rivera threw another gem. He finished with six strikeouts and allowed one earned run (two total runs) on four hits and two BBs across 5.0 innings. The bullpen continued to do its job as it allowed a collective two runs after Rivera exited the game.

“Devin had a great outing, and the bullpen was awesome,” Mulvey said. “This was the Devin we knew we would see since the beginning of the season. Great to have him going and enjoying some success.”

This was a huge performance for the Wildcats, but they simply couldn’t carry it over into Sunday’s game.

The Wildcats lost the rubber match, falling below .500 in Big East play. Villanova went down eight in the first two innings and could not get it going from there. The Wildcats mustered six hits and zero RBIs with their lone run coming from a wild pitch in the fifth. Villanova’s next series takes place in Omaha, Nebraska, as the ‘Cats match up with Creighton for a three-game series from Thursday to Saturday.