May 1, 2012
Baseball Notes - May 1
2012 CC Championship Bracket
A Look Back
The Johns Hopkins baseball team wrapped up its regular season, finishing 1-4 on the week. The Blue Jays took the first game of a double header against Muhlenberg to secure the top seed in the Centennial Conference championship tournament and earn the right to host for the third-straight year.
Hopkins got off to a rocky start this week after being swept by Haverford for the first time in program history on a wet and cold day in Baltimore Saturday. In a battle of aces, the Fords came out on top in the first game 4-3 before slipping past the Blue Jays 9-7 with a late inning rally in the night cap.
With the sweep, the Blue Jays had to wait one more day to secure their top seed and did it in a big offensive fashion. Hopkins exploded for a season-high 16 runs on 24 hits in the first game to take down the Mules, 16-8. Hopkins fell, however, to Muhlenberg in the second game, 12-7.
The Blue Jays wrapped up their regular season with a trip down to Salisbury, MD to face the Capital Athletic Conference Champions, the Sea Gulls. SU survived a late-inning rally by the Blue Jays and hung on to win, 11-6, after JHU put up for runs in the eighth inning.
The Blue Jays will host the 2012 Centennial Conference championship tournament for the third straight year this weekend and fifth time overall since the tournament’s inception in 2002. The Blue Jays are the only school in the conference to have appeared in every CC tournament. JHU enters the postseason with a 24-14-2 overall record and 13-5 in-conference mark. Hopkins will face the No. 4 seeded McDaniel in the opening round on Friday, May 4 at 3 pm. Second-seeded Haverford will host No. 3 Washington College in the other first round match up.
Hopkins is 23-4 overall in this tournament and has won eight of the 10 titles since the tournaments beginning.
Friday’s two winners will then meet at 12:30 pm (Game #4) or 30 minutes after the conclusion of game three, with the winner advancing to the championship round. Saturday’s final contest (Game #5) will be a meeting between the winner of game three and loser of game four to determine the final spot in Sunday’s championship.
Sunday’s championship game (Game #6) will be played at 12 pm, with game two of the championship series (Game #7) set for 30 minutes following the conclusion of game six, if necessary.
Hopkins is the only team to appear in every conference tournament for the Centennial. The Blue Jays come into this year’s tournament with a 24-14-2 record and 13-5 conference slate. Hopkins has a 20-4 overall record in the tournament. Hopkins has lost three of the last four games but has won 12 of the last 17 games including series sweeps of McDaniel, Swarthmore, Ursinus and Washington College.
Second-seeded Haverford comes into the tournament with a 21-17 record including a 12-6 slate in the Centennial. Following a four-game losing streak, the Fords closed with an 8-1 stretch including wins in the final three games of the regular season, including a double header sweep of Hopkins to secure the No. 2 seed. Haverford is making its fourth straight and seventh overall Centennial playoff appearance and is looking to avenge last year’s 10-6 loss to JHU in the championship round.
Washington College comes into the conference tournament as the third seed and is making its first appearance in the tournament since 2010, its only appearance in the postseason. The Shoremen finished the regular season with a 26-10 overall record and a 11-7 conference record and earned the third seed after winning the tie breaker over McDaniel.
This is McDaniel’s first appearance in the conference tournament since 2003 and will mark the first time these two teams will face each other in the tournament. McDaniel earned the fourth seed in the tournament after a sweep of Ursinus to close out its regular season on Sunday. McDaniel is 24-10 on the year and 11-7 in the conference, beating out Dickinson in the tie breakers for the fourth seed. The Green Terror have won five straight games.
Against the Field
Against McDaniel, the Blue Jays hold an all-time 75-59 series lead and have won 20-straight games against the Green Terror. Earlier this season, the Blue Jays swept the season series from the Green Terror. Hopkins defeated McDaniel 9-5 in the first game of the series in Baltimore and came back to defeat the Green Terror on their field, 13-7. Hopkins was trailing 7-6 going into the top of the ninth and scored seven runs on five hits to complete the come from behind win and take the season series from McDaniel.
The Blue Jays suffered their only season series sweep at the hands of Haverford last Saturday. Over all, the Blue Jays hold a 70-18 all-time series lead over the Fords and have defeated Haverford for the conference title three of the last four years. In 2009, the Blue Jays were named the Centennial Champions after rain shortened the tournament. Against the Fords in the tournament, the Blue Jays hold a 5-1 series lead, outscoring them 56-22 in the five wins.
Hopkins swept the season series against Washington College earlier this season. The Blue Jays took the first game, 3-1, in a true pitchers duel as senior Sam Eagleson twirled a two-hitter in Chestertown, MD and allowed only one run of the game on first-and-third run down situation that allowed the runner at third to score. The Blue Jays came back from a 3-0 deficit in the second game of the series in Baltimore with a run in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning. The come back was highlighted by junior Adam Weiner’s first home run of his baseball career to walk off with a 3-2 win for the Jays. In the postseason, the Blue Jays are 1-0 lifetime against the Shoremen, defeating Washington 8-2 in the opening round game of the 2010 tournament.
Junior Ryan Zakszeski helped the Johns Hopkins baseball team secure the top seed in the 2012 Centennial Conference championship tournament and has been named the Centennial Conference Player of the Week. This is the third weekly honor for a Blue Jay this season and first of Zakszeski’s career.
Zakszeski batted .550 (11-for-20) for the Blue Jays this past week while collecting four extra base hits, including three home runs for a 1.050 slugging percentage and a .571 on base percentage. The junior scored six times while driving in six runs and was a perfect 4-for-4 as the lead off hitter this week. Zakszeski had at least two hits in all five games for the Blue Jays. Zakszeski split time between third base and behind the plate for the Blue Jays, recording 14 put outs and five assists.
The Blue Jays are leading the Centennial Conference with 28 home runs as a team this season while juniors Ryan Zakszeski and Jeff Lynch lead the Blue Jays and the conference with six each.
Zakszeski hit an inside the park home run for his sixth round tripper of the season in the second game of the double header against Muhlenberg last Sunday.
Junior Mike Kanen is second on the team with four homers this season. Junior Kyle Neverman and sophomore Mike Denlinger each have three four-baggers on the year while junior Chris Wilhelm has two. Seniors Aaron Borenstein, Scott Barrett and J.R. Santaniello and junior Adam Weiner round out the home run club with one each.
Five of the Blue Jays six runs scored off of Washington College in the regular season series came off the long ball as Hopkins hit two home runs in each of the games.
Junior Adam Weiner capped off a three-inning rally for the Blue Jays as they came from behind to defeat Washington College last Friday, 3-2, at the JHU Baseball Diamond. With the scored tied at two in the bottom of the ninth, Weiner took a 2-1 pitch over the left field fence for his first career home run. Weiner’s walk off was the first time this season the Blue Jays walked off. The Blue Jays are now 3-0 on the season when they go into the ninth inning tied.
Final Punch Out
Of the Blue Jays’ 24 wins this season, 10 of the games have ended with a strikeout.
Senior Aaron Schwartz polished off a scoreless eighth and ninth against Gettysburg getting Pat Cody to swing through the last strike with a runner on third to put the game in the books for the Blue Jays.
First to Score
The Blue Jays have scored first in 28 of their 40 game so far this season and boast a 19-8-1 record in those games. Hopkins has out-scored opponents 71-30 in the first two innings and is 11-5-1 when scoring in the first inning.
Off to the Races
The Blue Jays are 81-98 stealing bases on the season with 19 different players recording at least one stolen base.
Top swiper for the Blue Jays is junior Kyle Neverman who is 20-for-22 stealing bags while classmate Jeff Lynch is a perfect 7-for-7 and junior Mike Kanen and sophomore Mike Denlinger are 6-for-8 on the base paths.
Lynch and junior Ryan Zakszeski completed a successful double-steal of second and home with Lynch scoring in the Blue Jays’ 11-5 victory over Gettysburg on Tuesday.
Senior Matt Ricci and Neverman completed the successful double steal as well for the Blue Jays in Hopkins’ 6-1 win over Ursinus in the second game of the double header.
The Blue Jays stole a season-high seven bases in the second game of the double header against Wesleyan.
As successful as Hopkins has been on the base paths, its pitchers have been equally successful keeping runners close. Opponents are just 41-58 stealing bases on the Blue Jays this season. Senior Aaron Borenstein has caught a team-high nine runners trying to swipe a bag. Senior Sam Eagleson keeps runners close while on the mound, allowing just one stolen base in eight attempts this season.
Catch Them Leaning
As a pitching staff, the Blue Jays have picked off 11 runners with senior Alex Eliopoulos leading the way with five. Eliopoulos is second in the conference in pick offs. In the conference opener against Dickinson, Eliopoulos caught speedy senior Andrew Sterling taking too big of a lead in the third to erase a lead-off single.
Climbing the Ranks
Senior hurler Alex Eliopoulos has collected 75 strikeouts so far this season to move into fourth all-time on the JHU strikeout list with 217 career K’s.
Senior Sam Eagleson joined Eliopoulos on the top-10 list in career strikeouts. After picking up five punch outs against Mary Washington and a strikeout against Salisbury, Eagleson has sole possession of 10th in the JHU record books with 166.
Senior closer Aaron Schwartz earned his seventh save of the season in the Blue Jays 8-4 win over Mary Washington. Schwartz has sole possession of third on both the career (9) and single season pitching lists for JHU.
Finishing What You Started
Senior Sam Eagleson and sophomore Tyler Goldstein each collected a complete game this season while senior Alex Eliopoulos has two to his credit for 2012.
Eliopoulos went the distance against Dickinson to open the Blue Jays’ conference schedule and then again in a 3-2 walk off victory over Washington. Against Dickinson, Eliopoulos had season-high 11 strikeouts, which ties his career record for a complete game while coming in just one under his record for strikeouts in a game - he fanned 12 in the 2010 regional game against Kean.
Eliopoulos now has seven complete games in his career as a Blue Jay and six games in which the right-hander hit double-digit strikeouts.
Goldstein threw all nine in the second game against Ursinus on Saturday, holding the Bears to just one run on seven hits while striking out a career-high five batters in Hopkins’ 6-1 victory. This was Goldstein’s first complete game as a Blue Jays.
Eagleson threw a two-hitter against Washington College last Tuesday. Eagleson had span of 15 batters where he started the at-bat with a first pitch strike from the fourth through the eighth inning and only once did he allow more than one runner on the base paths. Eagleson struck out a season-high eight batters in his ninth career complete game.
Leading the Way
Junior Kyle Neverman leads the Blue Jays with 19 multi-hit games while classmate Mike Kanen has 18 and senior Aaron Borenstein has 14.
Senior pitcher Alex Eliopoulos leads the Blue Jays and is second in the Centennial with 75 strikeouts on the season. Sophomore Tyler Goldstein is second in the conference in walks allowed, handing out just 10 free passes on the season in 42.2 innings of work.
Rolling a Pair
The Blue Jays are currently ranked 17th in the nation and lead the conference in double plays having turned 40 this season. The Blue Jays turned a season-high three against McDaniel on April 3.
Junior Kyle Neverman has fielded a team-high 28 DPs while classmate Jeff Lynch has been apart of 27.
Getting Out of a Jam
Senior Blake Platt has been called on in his four years as a Blue Jay to get Hopkins out of tight spots and he has been nothing short of stellar in that role. In his team-leading 19 appearances this season, Platt has inherited 32 runners, leaving 18 stranded on the base paths, including leaving the bases loaded three times this year. In fact, in his career as a Blue Jay, Platt has stranded 61.7 percent (42/68) of the runners he has inherited in his 54 appearances.
Making an Appearance
Senior Blake Platt has made 54 appearances on the mound for Hopkins in his four years in a Blue Jay uniform to tie the school and conference record for appearances on the mound for a career. Platt currently leads the team with 19 this season.
There’s No Crying in Baseball
But there is tying. The Blue Jays opened the 2012 campaign with a 7-7 tie of Alvernia. The knotted score marks the first time since 1947 that the Jays opened the season with a tie and the 25th time in school history and 11th time under head coach Bob Babb.
The Blue Jays posted their second tie of the season when they traveled to crosstown rival, Stevenson. Hopkins led 6-5 going into the bottom of the ninth and after giving up a run, the game was called for darkness and ended with a 6-6 tie.
In the Polls
The Blue Jays were selected to finish atop the Centennial Conference this season in a poll of the conference coaches.
Oh Captain, My Captain
Seniors Aaron Borenstein, Sam Eagleson, Alex Eliopoulos and Blake Platt were serve as the captains for the 2012 season.
At the Helm
Head coach Bob Babb is now in his 33rd season at the helm of the Blue Jays’ baseball program. Babb has guided Hopkins to five straight Centennial Conference titles and 18 trips to the NCAA Tournament in his at JHU, including trips to the College World Series in 1989, 2008 and 2010.