May 2, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa.--For the second straight week Villanova (12-28, 3-9 BIG EAST) will be headed on the road for a conference series, as the Wildcats visit Georgetown (15-25, 1-11 BIG EAST) for a three game set this weekend. The series opener is set for this evening at 7 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, Md., while the second and third games are scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Villanova has been idle since last weekend due to a pair of midweek rainout. Last weekend the Wildcats were swept in a three-game series at Seton Hall and the team has lost four straight overall heading into the upcoming weekend. Villanova will look to reverse its fortunes against an opponent that it has had plenty of success against.
Last season the Wildcats finished the regular season at Shirley Povich Field and came away with a three-game sweep of the Hoyas. Senior center fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) went 9-for-15 (.600) with eight runs batted in, two doubles and two home runs in the three games and Villanova outscored Georgetown by a 31-10 margin.
The all-time series between the Wildcats and the Hoyas started well over a century ago. Georgetown won the inaugural meeting, 24-0, on May 4, 1898 but overall it has been Villanova that has controlled the series. The Wildcats are 87-40 (.685) all-time versus the Hoyas, including a 40-25 (.615) record in Georgetown home games and a 70-24 (.745) mark in regular season BIG EAST action.
Jones and freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) have been two of the hotter hitters for Villanova in recent weeks. Jones has reached base safely in nine straight games and has a .465 on-base percentage during that span. He is batting .274 with a .384 on-base percentage and a .465 slugging percentage for the season and leads the BIG EAST with six triples. Czinege is riding a five-game hitting streak during which he is hitting .409 (9-for-22) with two home runs and nine runs batted in. Czinege hit a grand slam against Temple on April 22 in the first game of the streak and also homered last Sunday at Seton Hall. He has raised his average to .301 on the year and ranks second on the team in hitting, while his 47 hits and 30 RBI both lead the team.
The Hoyas also head into this weekend's series coming off being swept. Georgetown traveled to St. John's last weekend and was outscored 34-15 in three straight losses. Prior to the series the Hoyas had won three of their previous four contests. Friday night's starting pitcher, Matt Smith, is 3-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 11 starts this season and leads the Georgetown pitching staff with 68.0 innings pitched and 40 strikeouts while allowing only 66 hits. Nick Collins (.359 batting average) and Steve Anderson (.329) have each started all 40 games this season and are the Hoyas top two hitters.