In the team’s final week of the regular season, the Hopkins baseball team played a whopping five games in three days against Haverford, Muhlenberg, and Salisbury.
Against Haverford this past Saturday, Hopkins lost both games in a double-header match up that featured a steady dose of both offense and defense.
In the first game, senior Alex Eliopoulos was on the bump for the Blue Jays. He tamed the Fords for the first six innings, only yielding one run.
The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when junior Ryan Zakszeski homered to deep right center to take a 1-0 lead.
However, the Fords quickly answered in the top of the sixth, scoring one run to tie the game. After the Blue Jays scored another run in the bottom of the inning, the Fords struck back in the top of the seventh, tacking on three runs to take a 4-2 lead.
The Fords did not look back after gaining the two run lead. Hopkins managed to score one more run on a RBI groundout by junior Mike Kanen to plate fellow classmate Chris Vonerschmidt.
The Blue Jays could not complete the comeback though, and were unable to tack on any runs in the ninth inning against Haverford starting pitcher, Tommy Bergains, who went the distance for the Fords.
In the second game, while both teams featured much more offense the result was the same. The Blue Jays and the Fords each scored a run in the second inning but the Fords tacked on another in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead.
This time around, in the bottom of the inning the Blue Jays had an answer. Zakszeski belted his second home run of the day, plating junior Jeff Lynch to take a 3-2 lead at the end of the fourth inning. The fourth was followed by another run in the fifth to extend the Blue Jay lead to 4-2.
Undaunted, the Fords had a bigger answer, putting up four runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead 6-4. In the top of the following inning, Lynch launched a home run over the left field fence to cut the deficit to one.
Despite the effort from the starting first baseman, the Blue Jays could not get any closer as the Fords took the second game of the day with a score of 9-7.
Hopkins was back in action the following day for another double-header to take on the Muhlenberg Mules in Allentown, PA. Senior Lucas Henneman was on the hill for the Blue Jays and his solid performance put the team in a great position to take the first game.
The Blue Jays struck first in the third inning when junior Kyle Neverman led off with a triple and then scored on a fielding error by the Mules. After the Blue Jays tacked on another run in the top of the fourth, the Mules answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
The 2-2 tie was broken in the top of the fifth inning when Lynch homered yet again to left-center, plating two runs and giving the Blue Jays the lead. Junior Adam Weiner kept the offense going with an infield single that brought home Zakszeski and extended the Blue Jays lead to 5-2.
Blake Platt came in to relieve Henneman in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out. Despite finding himself in a tight spot, Platt got the first two batters he faced out to end the inning. This was Platt’s 54th outing, tying the all time Centennial Conference record. After trading runs back and fourth in the final innings, the Blue Jays came out on top, defeating the Mules 16-8.
The victory clinched the top spot in the Centennial Conference for the regular season for the Blue Jays going into the Centennial Conference Tournament this weekend. The Blue Jays will now host the tournament.
The second game of the double header did not end up in the Blue Jays’ favor. Lynch got the offense started with a RBI double to take an early 2-1 lead. The Blue Jays and the Mules each exchanged four runs in the sixth. After that, the Mules had a seven run inning to seal the victory.
Despite losing three out of the final four conference games, the Blue Jays are in a great position as the top seed in the Centennial. After wrapping up conference play, the Blue Jays finished the regular season against Salisbury on Monday.
The Jays struck first in the top of the first inning with an RBI double coming from Lynch that brought Kanen home. But this would not be enough for the Jays as the Sea Gulls came roaring back.
Going into the eighth, the Blue Jays only scored one more run while the Sea Gulls plated ten. Hopkins did get three more runs but they could not cut the entire deficit. The Sea Gulls ultimately topped the Blue Jays 11-6.
The Centennial Conference tournament kicks off this Friday at Homewood Field where the Blue Jays will take on McDaniel, whom the Blue Jays swept in the regular season.