Kutcher, Blue Jays Walk-Off vs. Babson in CWS Opener

Kutcher, Blue Jays Walk-Off vs. Babson in CWS Opener

Johns Hopkins Post-Game Press Conference

The Basics

• Score: #21 JHU-7, #9 Babson-6
• Records: JHU (36-11), Babson (38-9)
• Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
• Pitching Decision: W – Preston Betz (5-2) • L – Max Tannenbaum (5-2)
• The Short Story:  Senior Tim Kutcher hit a two-run double on an 0-2 count with two-outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to turn a 6-5 deficit into a 7-6 Johns Hopkins win over ninth-ranked Babson in the Blue Jays' first game at the 2019 Division III World Series.

How it Happened
• Babson led 4-1 and 6-4, but the Blue Jays rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 10th to score the come-from-behind victory.  Senior Chris DeGiacomo tripled to open the 10th and scored on a sacrifice fly from freshman AJ King to trim the 6-4 deficit to 6-5.
• After sophomore Mark Ritchie flied out to left field, sophomore Mark Lopez laced a single to left-center and freshman James Ingram then reached on an error.  Babson's Max Tannenbaum then jumped in front of Kuthcer with two quick strikes before the senior left fielder ripped one into the gap in right center to score Lopez and Ingram with the tying and winning runs.
•  The teams traded third-inning runs before Babson scored three unearned runs in the top of the sixth to grab the 4-1 lead.  The Beavers scratched out just two hits in the inning, but turned four Blue Jay errors, including two on one play, into the three-spot that quickly turned the tie into a three-run lead.
•  The Blue Jays got two back in the bottom of the seventh on the strength of their two rookie catchers, AJ King and Ingram.  King, playing in the DH spot, led off the inning with a single – his third hit of the game – and Ingram followed two batters later with a two-run home run to left to trim the Beaver lead to 4-3.
•  The three-run Babson lead was gone an inning later as junior Mike Eberle reached on a throwing error and later scored on an infield single by DeGiacomo.  Hopkins had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the inning as the bases were still loaded after DeGiacomo's single, but Henry Leake struck out three straight to kill the rally.
•  The Blue Jays got out of a two-on, one-out situation in the ninth as starter Josh Hejka induced a double play and the Beavers forced extras by stranding Kutcher and Eberle in scoring position.
•  Hejka worked into the 10th and recorded the first two outs of the inning by turning a popped up bunt into a double play, but he was pulled after issuing a walk to Matthew Valente and Nicholas Brown followed with a two-run home run to left to give the Beavers the 6-4 lead.
•  The two-run lead was cut in half after King's sacrifice fly and Kutcher's game-winning hit, which secured Hopkins' largest come-from-behind win in its World Series history, came three batters later.

Team Leaders
Johns Hopkins:
Hits: DeGiacomo, King – 3  
RBI: Kutcher, Ingram - 2
Strikeouts: Hejka - 8

Hits: Three tied - 2
RBI:  Browne-2
Strikeouts:  Leake-4

What it Means
• The Blue Jays improve to 8-6 all-time in the Division III World Series and are now 2-2 in World Series openers.
• This was the second walk-off win in JHU's World Series history.  A Matt Benchener RBI double lifted Hopkins to a 3-2 14-inning win over Adrian (2008) in JHU's only other World Series walk-off.
•  Johns Hopkins is 6-2 in one-run games in its four World Series appearances.
•  JHU's 36 wins this season are tied for the seventh-most in school history.
•  The Blue Jays finished the month of May with a perfect 9-0 record.  JHU last went through a calendar month without a loss in April of 2010, when the Jays were a perfect 21-0.

Inside the Box Score
• Ingram's home run was JHU's school-record and nation-leading 81st of the year.
• King's three hits are the most ever by a Johns Hopkins freshman in a World Series game.
• The three-hit games for King and DeGiacomo are the 10th and 11th three-hit games in JHU's College World Series history.
•  Hejka's eight strikeouts are tied for the second-most in JHU's World Series history.  Chez Angeloni struck out eight against Trinity (CT) in 2008.  Joe Zaccaria's 14 strikeouts against Adrian (2008) are the most ever by a JHU pitcher at the World Series.
• Hejka's 9.2 innings pitched are the most ever by a JHU pitcher at the World Series.
•  Babson's first four runs of the game were all unearned and only six of the 13 combined runs in the game were earned.

Up Next
• The Blue Jays will play the winner of the Birmingham Southern-Heidelberg game at 7:45 pm on Saturday, June 1.