Wooster Tops Hopkins, 8-5, in NCAA Baseball Regional
Score: #17 Wooster-8, Johns Hopkins-5
Records: Wooster (35-11), Johns Hopkins (28-14-2)
Location: Ross Memorial Park – Washington, PA
Time of Game: 2:20
Weather: Cloudy, Low 50s, Breezy
Pitchers of Record: W – Michael Houdek (10-2), L – Carter Burns (6-4), S – Zach Woullard (1)
The Short Story: The College of Wooster scored in five of the first seven innings and used a four-run fifth inning to fuel an 8-5 win over Johns Hopkins in the opening game for both teams in the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Baseball Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Ross Memorial Park in Washington, Pennsylvania. The Scots led early, fell behind by a run and then took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth to move forward in the winner’s bracket.
Wooster, which entered the tournament ranked 17th in the nation, took the lead for good with the four runs in the bottom of the fifth after the Blue Jays had grabbed a 3-2 lead in the top of the inning. The Scots got an RBI single from Mike Wielansky to plate Jake Flink and Joey Gilmore raced home on the play when the ball was mishandled in the outfield. A Jamie Lackner single then plated Wielansky and Lackner later scored on a double by Ryan Ostendorf to give Wooster a lead it would never relinquish at 6-3.
Wooster was up 7-3 after plating another run in the bottom of the sixth, but Ryan Orgielewicz sliced the four-run deficit in half for Johns Hopkins when he blasted a two-run home run to left in the top of the seventh.
The Scots added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh and had to hold off a Blue Jay rally in the ninth. Hopkins got its first two runners on in the final inning and then loaded the bases with two outs when junior Conor Reynolds worked a walk, but Raul Shah’s soft-liner to shortstop locked up the win for Wooster.
The Blue Jays turned a 2-0 deficit into the 3-2 lead with a three-run fifth. A leadoff home run from Alex Darwiche was followed by consecutive singles from Zach Jaffe and Tommy Mee. Jaffe came home on an RBI-single from Reynolds and Mee raced home when Reynolds got caught in a rundown on a stolen base attempt. That 3-2 lead didn’t last long as Wooster came back with the four runs in the bottom of the inning to grab the 6-3 lead.
Head Coach Bob Babb on the Blue Jays’ Hitting
“We hit some balls hard, but hit it right at them a few times – that’s baseball. I thought we hit the ball well, but they played well defensively and didn’t give us anything.”
Head Coach Bob Babb on Wooster Answering Hopkins’ Rallies
“One of our goals is to have a shut-down inning after we score – we didn’t do that today.”
Hits: Smith, Darwiche, Jaffe, Mee (2)
Runs: Mee (2)
RBI: Orgielewicz (2)
Strikeouts: Burns (3)
Hits: Tornow (3)
Runs: Fling, Lackner (2)
RBI: Lackner (3)
SB: Wielansky (2)
Strikeouts: Woullard (4)
- Johns Hopkins slips into the consolation bracket and will play the loser of the Randolph-Macon/St. Joseph’s (NY) game on Thursday at 1:15 pm.
- Including today’s loss, the Blue Jay have lost their opening game in NCAA regional play four straight times and six times in their last seven trips to the NCAAs. In each of the previous five instances, Hopkins has bounced back to win its second game and in four of those appearances the Blue Jays won at least two games in the consolation bracket.
Johns Hopkins will play 1:15 pm on Thursday in the consolation bracket.
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