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3-Strike Preview: Stony Brook at Georgetown

With the rest of the Big East taking part in conference series this weekend, Georgetown finds itself as the odd man out. However, there is still plenty of Hoyas baseball this weekend, as they host the Stony Brook Seawolves for a three-game set.

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Georgetown enjoyed a week off prior to this series, as its scheduled game with George Mason on Tuesday was postponed. That tilt was supposed to start a seven-game homestand for the Hoyas, but they've had to wait until today to get it going. Georgetown has won three of its last four games, including a 2-1 series win against Villanova last weekend. The action in this series begins with a double header on Saturday and finishes with a Sunday matinee, with all games at Shirley Povich Field. Here are some things to watch this weekend.

1. Don't underestimate Stony Brook

Stony Brook hails from the America East Conference, which is not one of the land's preeminent baseball conferences. However, the Seawolves should not be taken lightly. They enter this series with a 17-11 overall record, with wins in seven straight outings. What they lack in offensive punch (.259 team average), they make up for with strong pitching and steady play in the field. Led by ace Tyler Honahan (5-2, 3.35 ERA), they lead their conference in ERA (3.82). They also have a solid back end of the staff, with Teddy Rodliff (1.03 ERA, three saves). Cameron Stone (1.64 ERA) and Kevin Kernan (0.98 ERA) a tough trio to get past once manager Matt Senk dips into the bullpen.

2. Weak link in the rotation

Georgetown has a solid duo at the top of the weekend rotation. Ace Matt Hollenbeck (2-2, 3.67 ERA) is a workhorse, who eats up innings and has managed to keep opposing batters to a .215 average. He will be matched up against Honahan in the first part of Saturday's double-header. In the No. 2 spot, Matt Smith (2-2, 2.70 ERA) has been even more effective than Hollenbeck, striking out nearly a batter per inning and allowing just 17 walks in 46 2/3 innings. However, after those two, the Hoyas have had trouble getting consistency. Kevin Superko (1-2, 5.53 ERA) is scheduled to make his seventh start of the season on Sunday, but he has been far from effective. The freshman right-hander was on the hill last Sunday, as well, and he lasted only three innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits.

3. Bullpen firing blanks

The Hoyas may be better suited by just having a third starter by committee, especially if they can keep squeezing out strong outings from relievers Tim Davis and David Ellingson, who are both riding some lengthy scoreless inning streaks. While Orel Hersheiser shouldn't feel worried, Davis' 15 2/3 innings of shutout baseball over the last nine appearances have driven his ERA down to 2.78. He has made the most appearances (18) on the team, so expect him to be in action plenty this weekend. The same should be said of Elingson, who has an even more dazzling ERA (0.55) in 17 total appearances, as well as a scoreless innings streak of 13 2/3 innings. For those interested, the NCAA record for consecutive scoreless innings in a season is held by none other than Todd Helton, who blanked opponents across 47 innings in 1994 for Tennessee.