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McDaniel to battle for CC title

 2012 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
2012 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

WESTMINSTER, Md. – McDaniel will travel to Baltimore, Md., in search of its first Centennial Conference (CC) baseball championship this weekend.

The fourth-seeded Green Terror (24-10, 11-7 CC) faces top-seeded Johns Hopkins (24-13-2, 13-5 CC) in one of the first-round games in double-elimination tournament on Friday. Game time is 3 p.m. at Johns Hopkins. In the day's other first-round matchup, third-seeded Washington (Md.) (26-10, 11-7 CC) travels to second-seeded Haverford (21-17, 12-6 CC).

The losers of the Friday's two games will meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning at Johns Hopkins with the winners meeting at 12:30 p.m. or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the day's first game. Saturday concludes with a second elimination game at approximately 4 p.m.

The championship game will take place at Johns Hopkins on Sunday at 12 p.m.

The tournament's champion will earn the CC's automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division III tournament, slated to begin on May 16. The NCAA field will be announced on Sunday, May 13.

McDaniel is seeking its first CC championship in its second tournament appearance and first since 2003.

McDaniel was swept by Johns Hopkins in the regular-season series. The Blue Jays struck early in a 9-5 win in Baltimore on Apr. 3 before rallying with seven ninth-inning runs to complete the sweep with a 13-7 victory two days later in Westminster.

The Green Terror swept Haverford 13-10 and 10-5 on Apr. 7 in Haverford and lost twice to Washington. The Shoremen scored in the top of the ninth to win 7-6 in Westminster on Mar. 27 before six runs in the final two innings gave them a 6-5 win in Chestertown on Mar. 30.

McDaniel enters the tournament with the conference's top pitching staff with a collective 2.97 earned-run average. James Chiorello (East Windsor, N.J./Lawrenceville Prep) leads the staff with a 1.70 ERA in 69.0 innings pitched with 57 strikeouts against just 14 walks. Zach Jones (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) has a 2.51 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings. Andrew Monger (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) and Danny Snight (Silver Spring, Md./St. John's College) and round out the starting staff with 3.78 and 3.81 earned-run averages, respectively. Snight has 45 Ks while Monger has 39.

Patrick Christopher (Union Beach, N.J./St. John Vianney) leads the offense with a .359 average, 42 hits, 10 doubles and four triples. Chiorello also has 42 hits, including nine doubles and five home runs.