Baseball sweeps Fords away in doubleheader

By ESTHER HONG | April 20, 2017

B12_Baseball Conor Reynolds hit a home run to lead off the game against Haverford.

The Blue Jays swept the Haverford Fords in their season’s final doubleheader on Babb Field, finishing the day with a walk-off hit by senior catcher Ryan Orgielewicz.

“Yesterday’s games were maybe the two biggest wins we’ve had this season. Haverford is our biggest rival, and it’s a great feeling to be able to beat them twice,” senior shortstop Conor Reynolds said. “We lost four times to Haverford last year, so both games were really statement wins.”

In their first game of the day, the Jays quickly generated momentum, scoring four runs in the first inning. On the second pitch of the game, Reynolds hit a home run out to left field. Following the home run, Haverford’s pitcher Tom Phillips walked senior outfielder Brian Lin and junior third baseman Mike Smith.

Freshman infielder Mike Eberle hit a single to send Lin home, and senior first baseman Daniel Albert hit a sacrifice fly to score Smith. Next to bat was senior outfielder Jon Hayden, who hit a single to send Eberle to score.

The Fords came back with fire in the second and third inning, scoring five runs and grabbing the lead from Hopkins. Despite the deficit, the Blue Jays didn’t let the score faze them. The Jays quickly tied up the game at 5-5 after a home run by Hayden.

Unfortunately, Haverford outfielder Thomas Vollaro, in an attempt to catch Hayden’s ball, caught his leg in the fence while jumping, resulting in a serious injury and a delay of game.

Despite this delay of game, Hopkins stayed engaged. In the fourth inning, Lin reached home on a walk, and Smith hit the third home run of the game just over the left field fence. The Blue Jays improved the score to 7-5. In the fifth inning, Haverford scored an unearned run, making the score 7-6.

The Jays, who are known for their sixth-inning scoring streaks, further established this reputation by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Reynolds worked a walk and stole both second and third. Smith hit a double to send Reynolds to score.

With Smith and Orgielewicz on base, Eberle hit a double to send Smith home. Albert then grounded out but gave Orgielewicz enough time to slide into home.

Both Hopkins and Haverford added a run for their teams, and the final score was 11-7.

In the second game of the day, the Fords came out on top during the first couple innings. The Blue Jays got on the scoreboard in the second inning after Eberle hit a sacrifice fly to send Smith scoring. Haverford led 2-1.

The Fords continued to score in the seventh inning, making the score 4-1. Despite the Fords’ recent scoring success, the Jays fought back with their own offensively strong seventh inning.

After two ground outs, senior outfielder Tommy Mee hit a single to keep the inning going. Sophomore outfielder Tim Kutcher, who went three for three on the day, recorded his third hit. Reynolds worked another walk to make the bases loaded. Lin followed with another walk, sending Mee home, and Smith hit a single, giving his team two more runs. The game was tied at 4-4.

“I think the biggest moment of the day was Smith’s two-RBI single in the seventh inning to tie the game,” Reynolds said.

Sophomore pitcher Harrison Folk subbed in for junior starting pitcher Alex Ross. Folk faced the minimum number of batters in the eighth and struck out two batters in the ninth. Sophomore pitcher John Donohue went into the game and finished the top of the ninth with the final out.

In the bottom of the ninth, Lin singled to left field, Smith was hit by a pitch and Orgielewicz hit the walk-off single to send Lin home, winning the game for the Blue Jays against last season’s Centennial Conference Champions. The final score was 5-4.

Defensively, pitchers Ross, Folk and Donohue did not walk a batter in the second game of the day, marking the sixth game of the season where Hopkins did not surrender a walk.

On offense, Orgielewicz recorded his fifth walk-off victory of the season. Additionally, Reynolds became the fifth Blue Jay in program history to record 200 career hits. After his three hits against the Fords, two of which were home runs, Reynolds sits at 201 hits.

Hopkins continues to hold first place in the Centennial Conference, improving their record to 9-1.

“The two wins yesterday extended our lead in the Conference to two games and moved us even closer to hosting the tournament,” Reynolds said. “Every conference game has been a battle. I’m extremely proud of the way our team has fought and found ways to win.”

The Jays face off against the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats next. Their second matchup with the Diplomats will be on Friday, April 21 on Babb Field at Stromberg Stadium.

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