Blue Jays Hold Off Babson, Advance at College World Series

Blue Jays Hold Off Babson, Advance at College World Series

Johns Hopkins Post-Game Press Conference

The Basics

• Score: #21 Johns Hopkins-6, #9 Babson-5
• Records: JHU (37-12), Babson (39-10)
• Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
• Pitching Decision: W – McCracken (8-2) • L – Allard (8-1)
• The Short Story:  The Johns Hopkins baseball team jumped out to a 5-0 lead after five innings then held off a spirited rally by ninth-ranked Babson to claim a 6-5 win at the Division III World Series Sunday afternoon.

How it Happened
• The Blue Jays grabbed a 3-0 lead with a three-run third inning – all three runs were scored with two outs.  A Chris DeGiacomo RBI-single plated Mike Eberle, who had singled, and Chris Festa scored on a double steal to make it 2-0.  Freshman AJ King then laced a single to center that scored DeGiacomo to close out the scoring.
•  Hopkins added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to push its lead to 5-0.  Senior Tim Kutcher singled in the fourth and then aggressively took third on an Eberle single to left center before scoring on a wild pitch in the fourth.  An inning later, King added his second RBI single of the day as he knocked in Nate Davis, who had opened the inning with a double down the line in left.
•  The Beavers hopped back in the game with a two-run fifth.  A Connor Gill sacrifice fly plated Matthew Valente and Thomas Lapham scored on a throwing error to account for the two Babson runs in the inning.
•  The margin was down to one in the bottom of the seventh as the Beavers' first three batters reached safely to highlight a two-run inning that made it 5-4.  Lapham again scored on an error and a two-out Jake Oliger RBI single knocked in Brian McHale.  Blue Jay starter Sean McCracken induced a crucial double play in the inning to avoid further damage.
•  The one-run lead held until the top of the ninth, when the Blue Jays added what proved to be the game-winning run.  A two-out double to left by Kutcher was followed by back-to-back singles from Eberle and Festa that brought him home to make it 6-4.
•  Babson used three singles in the bottom of the ninth against Blue Jay closer Josh Hejka to slice the deficit in half.  An Eric Juan single scored Gill and the Beavers still had two men on before Hejka induced a pair of ground outs to end the game.

Team Leaders
Johns Hopkins:
Hits: Eberle, Festa, King-3
RBI: King-2
Strikeouts: McCracken-6

Hits: Five with-2
RBI:  Three with-1
Strikeouts:  Allard-1

What it Means
• Johns Hopkins advances to play Birmingham-Southern at approximately 7:45 pm (CT) tonight.  The Blue Jays need to beat the Panthers twice to advance to the best-of-three championship series.
• The Blue Jays are now 37-12 on the year.  The 37 wins are tied for the sixth-highest single-season total in school history.
•  JHU is now 33-14 in elimination games since the start of the 2007 season.

Inside the Box Score
• King, Festa and Eberle all had three hits in the game.  Those are the 12th, 13th and 14th three+-hit games in JHU's College World Series history.
• King posted his second, three-hit game of the CWS. He is the only freshman in school history with a three-hit game at the CWS … and now he has two.
• The Blue Jays' first three players in the lineup (Kutcher, Eberle, Festa) were a combined 8-for-15 with four runs scored and one RBI.
• Hejka set the Johns Hopkins career record with his 15th save.

Up Next
• A rematch with Birmingham-Southern tonight at approximately 7:45 pm.