Georgetown University's baseball team has been desperately trying to show home fans that its 6-1 start was no fluke, according to Coach Ken Kelly.
But Hoya fans probably remain unconvinced after Brandeis socked it to Georgetown yesterday, 8-1, to keep the Hoyas winless in three home games since returning from Florida.
Brandeis (5-0) took advantage of what has plagued Georgetown this season: poor hitting and erratic defensive play. The Hoyas managed only three hits, allowed six stolen bases in as many attempts and committed five errors.
"We're making mistakes we weren't making before," said Kelly, in his first year as Hoya coach. "Those mistakes are being compounded by the fact we can't hit the ball. In florida, we played intelligently, even though we still did not hit well. We beat some better feams there because we used our brains."
The Hoyas batted an unspectacular 230 on their southern swing; in the three games here Georgetown has dropped to a .147 mark, despite the 450-plus average of freshman third baseman Joe Nicifora. The rest of the team is hitting at a .091 clip in the last three games.
"We can win by hitting .230 as we did down South," said Kelly. "We'll play smart, bunt the ball, use our team speed. However, we've got to get back up to .230."
Kelly cites as the principal reason for Georgetown's offensive failings the unfamiliarity of his young players with college pitching. The Hoyas start five freshmen and use seven regularly.
"I had no chance to recruit this year, since I came so late," said Kelly. "Therefore, I went with players who had not been developed under somebody else's system. The freshmen could start out under my system."
Kelly characterized himself as "relatively demanding, as a coach, especially in Georgetown terms."
"We're trying to bring the program here back to where it used to be many years ago," said Kelly. "Our schedule is being upgraded, we've more than doubled the number of games on our fall and spring schedules. We need more games as a recruiting tool. But we also need tangible results."
Hoya pitching has been one bright spot. Blane Cordes is 3-0, with an earned run average of 1.00. When last seen, Cordes was throwing five perfect innings in relief, striking out eight.
Senior Tom Williams (1-2), who took the loss yesterday, was a shortstop until Kelly converted him last fall. Williams missed the fall with a pulled muscle. He was both good and bad against Brandeis, striking out three in the first three innings but issuing four walks in the same span.
Brandeis scored its first run when Hoya catcher Bill Gerard committed a throwing error on a judge steal attempt in the third inning, allowing the first Judge run to score from third.
In the sixth, three hits, a walk, an error and a stolen base produced three more runs for Brandeis, runner-up in the 1977 Division III national tournament.
In other games, Wake Forest handed Maryland its first Atlantic Coast Conference loss, 6-4, at Winston-Salem, N.C. Jim Doherty limited Maryland to five hits as Wake improved its record to 15-3 and 2-0 in the ACC. Maryland is now 2-1 in the conference and 4-11-1 overall.
In an East Coast Conference opener in Philadelphia, St. Joseph's swept two games from American and dropped the Eagles' overall record to 2-7. A two-run double by Duryel Thomas and an RBI single by Ralph Dell' Arciprette, all in the seventh inning, lifted St. Joe's (4-7) to a 6-3 win in the first game. John Del Monte's two-run double helped the hosts to a 4-0 decision in the second contest.
Bob Ravener and Rich Seiler each collected three hits as unbeaten Navy rolled to its sixth victory, 4-1 over Virginia Commonwealth in Annapolis.
Frostburg Sate dropped George Mason's record to 5-8-1 with a 4-3 triumph at Mason. Sophomore Mike Kelly delivered a two-out, two-out homer in the fifth to provide the winning margin. A second game was rained out.
Harry Blumenkrantz extended his hitting streak to nine games with a two-run single that helped Catholic turn back William and Mary, 7-3, in the first of two games at Williamsburg. Catholic won the second contest, 4-2.