Baseball squad leaps to #5 national rank

By JEFF SCHILL | April 11, 2013

The Hopkins baseball team returned to the JHU Baseball Diamond this past Friday to take on Dickinson for the second time this season. The Blue Jays offense was on point smashing 14 hits, with the defense and pitching following suit. The Blue Jays defeated Dickinson 10-1 and recorded their thirteenth straight victory.

Jacob Enterlin was on the bump for the Blue Jays seeking his fifth victory of the year. Enterlin cruised through the Dickinson lineup for seven innings, yielding no earned runs and striking out six on the day.

The Blue Jays jumped out to an early lead and tacked on two runs in the second inning. Senior Kyle Neverman roped a two-run single to plate fellow classmates Adam Weiner and Ryan Zakszeski. The Red Devils managed to manufacture a run in the following frame but Hopkins quickly squashed any gained momentum and came back with a run in the bottom of the inning.

The Red Devils’ starting pitcher could only last four innings, as the Blue Jay bats were too much for him to handle. In the fifth, Zakszeski notched an RBI double to right center to improve the Blue Jay lead to four runs.

In the subsequent innings, the Blue Jays tallied even more runs as senior Jeff Lynch and Chris Wilhelm each had an RBI.  Junior Mike Denlinger also plated a pair of runs to extend the lead to 9-1.

The Blue Jay bullpen did not give the Red Devils any hint of a comeback as they collectively shut the door after Enterlin was finished. The victory completed a conference sweep against Dickinson.

On the following morning, the team traveled to Pennsylvania to take on Franklin and Marshall in a double-header matchup.

Both offenses were relatively quiet in the first three frames but the Blue Jays answered first in the fourth inning. Sophomore Colin McCarthy got on base with a walk and following a single by Lynch, Delinger singled in McCarthy for the first run of the game. Sophomore Christopher Casey added an RBI in the inning to extend the Blue Jay lead to two runs.

With junior Tyler Goldstein on the mound, a two run cushion is normally enough to secure a victory and this contest was certainly no exception. Goldstein went six strong innings and struck out five without giving up any runs.

The Jays extended their lead quite sizably in the later innings. Lynch launched an RBI double into deep left field and Mike Denligner followed with an RBI single of his own to extend the lead.

The Diplomats managed to score one run but this was no area of concern for the Blue Jays as the bullpen was once again stellar. The Jays held the 7-1 lead into the 9th and junior Zach Augustine closed out the game to secure the Jays first victory on the day.

The second game of the double header was certainly a closer matchup but the Blue Jays would not be defeated as they battled in the tight one run game.

Lynch got the offense started with another RBI double to score McCarthy and put the Blue Jays on top. The Jays plated another two runs to jump out to an early 3-0 lead.

In the sixth inning, senior Chris Wilhelm launched a two-run homer, his sixth of the season, to give the Blue Jays a 5-0 lead.

This time the Diplomats had an answer for the Blue Jay offense and tacked on three runs of their own to cut the deficit to two runs. The Blue Jays answered again on an RBI single coming from Lynch. Despite the Blue Jay answer, the Diplomats were able to shrink the deficit to one run. The Blue Jays did not let the Diplomats come any closer as Justin Dreschel closed out the ninth with a pair of strikeouts to seal the win.

After sweeping the Diplomats on their home field, the Blue Jays traveled to Westminster, Maryland to take on McDaniel. Freshman Colin Friedman was dominant on the mound for the Jays.  Friedman went eight innings and only allowed two runs. Despite the great pitching performance, the real story came from the offensive power generated by senior captains Lynch and Zakszeski. The two combined for nine hits and seven RBIs. Lynch added three doubles on the day en route to the 11-2 victory over the McDaniel Green Terror.  Lynch has been the crux of the Blue Jay offense thus far in the season. His team leading 18 doubles is encroaching on the record for most in a season. Lynch’s approach has garnered the great outcome so far in the season.

“I am seeing the ball really well and I have had a steady diet of off-speed pitches thrown my way so I’ve worked on staying back and driving the ball to right center which has been the key to my success,” said the senior captain.

The Blue Jays win streak is now at 16 games and their record is now 23-2, which is tied for the fourth best 25 game start in program history. The previously 12th ranked Blue Jays have cracked the top five, coming in as the number five team in the nation. The 5th ranked Blue Jays will return to the field on Friday against McDaniel and will look to push the streak to 17 games.

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