The Hopkins Baseball team reached the 30 win mark this weekend and did so in only 35 games. With an overall 30-5 record the Blue Jays are currently ranked third in the nation behind Linfield and Kean.
Hopkins has gotten to this point in the season with great hitting and stellar pitching performances from young talent. The deep roster for the Jays has enabled Head Coach Bob Babb to feel confident in any player that steps up to the plate.
The week’s newest list of individual honors is a testament to the talented lineup. Senior captain Jeff Lynch, otherwise known within the clubhouse as Bad Cop, has been outstanding all season hitting over .400 and has been named to the D3baseball.com Team of the Week, as well as Centennial Conference Player of the Week.
He was the fourth Hopkins player to get the national team of the week nod, as the Blue Jay successes this year have truly been a team effort.
“Honors like these are vey nice and I’m sure I’ll look back on them some day, but they don’t really mean anything right now. What matters is coming together as a team and working hard so that we are playing our best baseball come playoff time,” added Lynch.
Despite the 30-5 record, the Blue Jays find themselves facing adversity for the first time all year. The Jays played four games this week and lost on back-to-back days, which is a first for the season.
The losses seem to stem from scheduling difficulties as the Blue Jays played a long stretch of games coming into the weekend. Despite losing two games this week, the Blue Jays swept Ursinus to remain at the top of the Centennial Conference.
After rain blanketed the region this past week, the Blue Jays needed to push back the game scheduled for Friday and move the double header to Saturday. In game one, the Jays had junior Tyler Goldstein on the mound and as per usual. He was dominant, allowing just one earned run in 7.2 innings. The offense got started early in the first when Lynch launched a double to score sophomore Chris Casey. Junior Mike Denlinger followed with an RBI of his own and senior Ryan Zakszeski added an additional RBI single to give the Blue Jays the 3-0 lead.
This was all the run support Goldstein needed as he stifled the Bears for most of the afternoon. Junior Zach Augustine and sophomore Justin Dreschel came in relief to close the door on the Bears and end game one with a final score of 4-2.
The second game featured more pitching from the Blue Jay staff as freshman Carter Burns went the distance and struck out nine batters in the process. Although the Bears struck first in the top of the first frame, the Blue Jays tacked on eight runs and did not look back. In the bottom of the sixth inning, senior Kyle Neverman and Lynch both belted homeruns to put the game out of reach and secure the Jays’ 30th win on the season by a score of 8-2.
The Blue Jays returned to the field the very next day and traveled to face Gettysburg. The Bullets already spoiled the Blue Jay winning streak last week in Baltimore and got the best of the Jays in the second match up as well. The Bullets outplayed the Blue Jays broke open the game in the fifth inning by taking a 5-1 lead. The Blue Jays could not get the bats working as they only scored one run for the first time all season.
The Blue Jays stepped back onto the field the next afternoon to take on Washington College. Washington College got on the board first but Neverman launched a homerun on the bottom of the frame to tie up the game. Despite initial life from the Jays offense, hits could not turn into runs for the Blue Jays in the latter innings.
The six errors on the day did not help the cause as the Blue Jays fell 7-3 and notched just their fifth loss of the year.
The Blue Jays will return to action on Friday and will play with a chip on their shoulder while not losing sight of their end goal.
“Although we’re in a little bit of a lull, we’ve worked way harder than any other team and expect to win our last game,” noted senior captain and starting shortstop Kyle Neverman.