2024 Georgetown vs St. John's

Georgetown Baseball Rides Historic Season Into The BIG EAST Championship

Georgetown Baseball Rides Historic Season Into The BIG EAST Championship

Georgetown Baseball has been on a historic run with a school-record 34 wins in tow for this season heading into this week’s BIG EAST Baseball Championship.

May 20, 2024 by Briar Napier

Following Georgetown baseball’s mostly miserable 2021 season, Everett Catlett, Christian Ficca, and other Hoyas freshmen at the time could’ve taken the easy way out and left town for other opportunities.

And who would have blamed them? After all, until recently, underperforming seasons have for the most part been the norm for Georgetown baseball.

Despite being one of the school’s oldest sanctioned sports as the Hoyas have fielded an official team since 1870, Georgetown baseball has never qualified for the NCAA Tournament. And in the 2021 season in particular — mainly a BIG EAST schedule as the sport got back to play from the pandemic-canceled 2020 campaign — the Hoyas finished a dismal 6-25 overall for their 34th consecutive losing (completed) season.

After that, the door was open for Catlett and Ficca, each of whom got plenty of playing time as freshmen at Georgetown, to bolt a situation that had rarely ever been successful and seemingly had little indication of getting better. 

But each had no intention of leaving, in part because they saw something many others didn’t — potential.

“Georgetown, being the type of school it is, it’s not really a type of place people want to leave,” Ficca, a catcher, said. “The degree you’re able to get while being an athlete here, I think that’s definitely a big part of it. … The thing that I guess is under-discussed from that freshman year is we didn’t play a fall, we didn’t really have a preseason, and we started a month late. I felt like there was a lot of talent then."

“I didn’t really know what to expect, I guess, (for my) sophomore year, but the way we kind of came together was awesome. And it’s just been on kind of on a roll since then.” - Christian Ficca

That roll, as Ficca put it, has seen the Hoyas win at least 30 games in their past three consecutive seasons and win a BIG EAST Baseball Championship game in 2023, both things of which had never occurred previously in program history.

And with a school-record 34 wins in tow for this season heading into this week’s BIG EAST Baseball Championship (to begin Wednesday and be streamed on FloBaseball), Georgetown’s roll could snowball into another important program milestone if it plays its cards right and wins the conference tournament: a landmark NCAA Regional appearance.

Georgetown baseball’s glass ceiling is being continuously smashed, and Ficca, Catlett, and the group of rookies who have stuck around the team for the ride have been rewarded for their patience.

“Like Christian said, there was a ton of talent and stuff, and we knew what we did wasn’t reminiscent of who we were and what we were capable of,” Catlett, a left-handed pitcher, said. “We just kind of played the hand that was dealt to us and had fun doing it. … We knew what we were doing wasn’t what we were meant to be doing, and so we stayed and we kept going.”

So, what exactly was the spark that helped get the Hoyas out of the BIG EAST baseball basement and into the championship contenders picture? That conversation probably starts with the hiring of coach Edwin Thompson.

A Maine native, Thompson was Eastern Kentucky’s coach from 2016-20 before being hired at Georgetown in September 2020 following the resignation earlier in the year of longtime coach Pete Wilk. Thompson’s challenge to build a winning tradition into the program was a little harder at the start compared to most new hires as he was unable to meet the team in person until March 2021 due to pandemic-related issues, with the coach likening the frequent Zoom calls he had then with his players to a “long-distance relationship.”

Thompson eventually got to work with his team in D.C., but its end product in Year 1 was rough with the Hoyas’ six-win season. But the essence of Thompson’s program-building philosophy boils down to going step by step and making gradual improvements every season, and he planned to see the Hoyas be much improved in Year 2.

And much improved they were.

In 2022, Georgetown won a then school-record 32 games to qualify for the BIG EAST Baseball Championship, with Thompson and his assistants earning the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year and catcher Owen Carapellotti winning the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year. A year later, the Hoyas won 30 games and beat Seton Hall for their first BIG EAST Baseball Championship win ever before falling in the semifinals to top-seeded UConn. 

Clearly, Georgetown baseball has taken steps in that timeframe, and major ones at that.

“Doesn’t matter what it is, business, life, whatever,” Thompson said. “You have to continue to work your way toward what you want to be. It’s an obviously ongoing process … I think each year, we’ve progressed in a way I felt (was) at the right time, not too fast, not too slow, and just a steady growth of consistency has infused into our program.

“The expectations within the program are higher than, from a baseball results standpoint, when we got here. So that’s good.”

Over the course of this week at Prasco Park in suburban Cincinnati, those standards and expectations within the Georgetown program can be raised even further.

The Hoyas are the No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST’s annual conference tournament, where they will open postseason play against No. 2 St. John’s at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Wednesday exclusively on FloBaseball. The Red Storm were Georgetown’s final regular-season opponent this past weekend as part of a three-game series that the Hoyas won 2-1; the victories both came as shutouts (1-0 and 3-0), with Catlett going five innings as the starter and striking out six in the latter of the two shutouts last Saturday. 

Catlett and Ficca both look set for end-of-season accolades as the former is 6-1 on the mound with a 2.85 ERA and team-high 79 strikeouts in 72⅔ innings pitched as of this writing, whereas the latter leads the Hoyas in batting average (.362), RBIs (63) and hits (75), among other statistical categories. And with other difference-makers doing damage like Carapellotti (team-high 14 home runs, 51 RBIs) and an elite-level closer in right-hander Nick Davis (nine saves), there’s an argument for this year’s Georgetown’s team, top-to-bottom, to be the most talented in school history. 

It’s survive and advance time in college baseball, and Thompson, after already taking Georgetown baseball to new heights, will be hoping that his team’s end to its season isn’t anytime soon.

“Do I think our team is good enough and capable of winning the league (this) week? Absolutely,” Thompson said. “I think all four teams will believe that. It won’t be easy, but it also means that it’s going to be another opportunity and experience that we’re able to share together with this group, and each time, I just hope we get another week with the guys. That’s the goal.”

How to Watch The BIG EAST Baseball Championship 2024

Watch the 2024 BIG EAST Baseball Championship on FloBaseball and the FloSports app.

Fox Sports will be broadcasting the final day of action, the Championship series. 

FloBaseball will be streaming CAA Men’s Baseball and BIG EAST Baseball all season long.

BIG EAST Baseball Standings 2024

St. John's14-734-16-1
Seton Hall7-1424-30

BIG EAST Baseball Championship 2024 Schedule

All Times Eastern

Wednesday, May 22

  • Game 1 | 2:30 p.m.
  • Game 2 | 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 23

  • Game 3 | Elimination Game | 2:30 p.m.
  • Game 4 | Semifinal | 6:30 p.m.

Friday, May 24

  • Game 5 | Elimination Game | 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 25

  • Game 6 | Championship Game | 12 p.m.
  • Game 7 | Championship Game | 3:30 p.m.*

*If necessary

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