BALTIMORE, Md. – Johns Hopkins rode a three-run first inning to a 6-2 victory over McDaniel in the first round of the 2012 Centennial Conference (CC) baseball tournament on Friday.
Patrick Christopher (Union Beach, N.J./St. John Vianney) went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Green Terror (24-11), who is making its first CC tournament appearance since 2003.
Jeff Lynch and Chris Vonderschmidt recorded three hits each for the top-seeded Blue Jays (25-14-2), who advance in the winner's bracket of the double-elimination tournament and will play Haverford on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Fords (22-17) defeated Washington (Md.) 3-2 in Friday's other first-round game. McDaniel will play the Shoremen (26-11) in Saturday's first game – an elimination game – in Baltimore at 9 a.m.
After Johns Hopkins starter Alex Elipoulos wiggled out a two-walk top of the first, Kevin Neverman laced the first pitch McDaniel starter Zach Jones (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) threw to the wall in right-center for a double.
Mike Kanan then dropped the first pitch he saw into right field to put runners at the corners.
Aaron Borenstein was hit by the first pitch of his at bat to load the bases for Jeff Lynch, who dropped a single into the right for a 1-0 lead.
Ryan Zakszeski followed with a single of his own before Jones got a strikeout for the first out but then hit the next batter, forcing in Borenstein for a 3-0 lead.
Both teams put two runners on over the next two innings but failed to score.
In the fourth, Borenstein ripped a triple that landed just out of the reach of a diving Brandon Hayward (Salisbury, Md./J.M. Bennett) before Lynch followed with a sharp liner past the third baseman and into left field for a 4-0 lead.
Vonderschmidt poked a one-out solo home run over the right-field fence an inning later to push the advantage to five.
Hayward beat out a one-out dribbler to the third baseman in the seventh inning before Christopher followed with a sharp single up the middle to put runners at first and second.
Jimmy Najera (Fort Washington, Md./DeMatha) dropped a ball into right field but Christopher got hung up between second and third on a quick relay throw for the second out.
Mike Freeman (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) followed with a single to shallow left to score Hayward for the team's first run.
A Vonderschmidt one-out infield single, stolen bases and Neverman single just out of the reach in right field pushed the lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the frame.
Tyler Jackow (Colonia, N.J./Colonia) drew a walk to lead off the ninth before Christopher roped a single to the gap to put runners at the corners.
Najera followed with a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 6-2 but Aaron Schwartz worked out a first and second, two-out situation to give Johns Hopkins the win.