Shoremen Nine Reach CC Baseball Tournament Final For The First Time
WC Eliminates McDaniel and Johns Hopkins In Day Two of CC Tournament
BALTIMORE, MD – The Washington College baseball team won a pair of games at JHU Baseball Diamond on Saturday in the second day of the Centennial Conference Baseball Tournament and will be playing Haverford for the conference tournament crown on Sunday in Baltimore. The Shoremen, the tournament's third seed, eliminated fourth seed McDaniel, 6-0, in the first game of the day in the morning and rallied from 6-1 down to knock out top seed and host Johns Hopkins, 10-6, in the afternoon.
The win over Johns Hopkins (25-16-2) snapped a 16-game losing streak to the Blue Jays as it was the Shoremen's first win since a 12-2 victory on April 5, 2005. It was also their first win in Baltimore over Johns Hopkins since a 5-3 win in the 1995 season, a span of 18 games. WC improves to 28-11 overall on the season.
The Shoremen will play the Fords, the two seed, beginning at noon tomorrow. The Shoremen must win both games to win the tournament and receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while Haverford has to win just once to win the tournament.
The Shoremen struck early against McDaniel (24-12), plating three runs on a two-out home run by junior first baseman Tyler Cotterell (Lincroft, NJ/Middletown South). The home run was the first of Cotterell's
collegiate career. Junior center fielder Sean Connole (Mt. Airy, MD/St. John's Catholic) led off the inning with a single and senior catcher John Rolewicz (Bear, DE/Salesianum) was hit by a pitch with two outs. Washington added a run in the second when sophomore right fielder Ian Remington (Guilford, CT/Guilford) drove in junior third baseman Joe Willis (Mullica Hill, NJ/Kingsway Regional) with a two-out single, increasing the lead to 4-0.
Willis scored the Shoremen's fifth run on a one-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth by sophomore second baseman Nick Marinelli (Ellicott City, MD/Marriotts Ridge). Remington then drove in Marinelli
with a sacrifice fly for Washington's sixth run.
Junior Kyle Aldrich (Warren, NJ/Watchung Hills Regional) went the distance against McDaniel, pitching just the fourth shutout in Centennial Conference Tournament history and the first since 2008. The
three previous shutouts were all thrown by Franklin & Marshall pitchers. Aldrich, who improved to 6-2 with the victory, allowed just three hits and three walks in nine innings of work. Connole, Cotterell, and Marinelli each had two hits for the Shoremen. For the Green Terror, James Chiorello took the loss and drops to 6-3.
In game two against Johns Hopkins, the Blue Jays scored three runs in the bottom of the first to take a 3-0 lead on a solo leadoff home run by Kyle Neverman to left field and a two-run blast by Jeff Lynch to left-center that scored Aaron Bornstein.
The Shoremen cut it to 3-1 in the top of the second when Cotterell scored on an RBI groundout to third off the bat of Willis. However in the bottom of the third, Ryan Zakszeski opened the frame with a home run down the left field line to increase the lead to 4-1.
In the last of the fifth, Lynch and Zakszeski scored on a two-run, two-out single to right-center off the bat of Mike Denlinger to push the lead to 6-1.
WC struck for a pair of home runs in the top of the sixth inning to cut it to 6-3. Senior shortstop Ryan Normoyle (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) led off the inning with a long ball to right to reduce the lead to 6-2 and with two away, freshman designated hitter Dennis Thomas (Baltimore, MD/Archbishop Curley) launched a homer down the left field to trim the lead to three runs.
Washington scored five times in the top of the seventh, all with two outs, to grab an 8-6 lead. Normoyle cut the Blue Jays lead to just two runs at 6-4 when he singled through the right side to drive home Willis from third with two outs. The next batter, Rolewicz doubled to left to plate both Remington and Normoyle to level the game. After a walk to Cotterell, Thomas singled home Rolewicz and Cotterell on a two-run base hit through the left side to put the guests up 8-6.
In the top of the ninth, freshman pinch runner Brian Alexa (Silver Spring, MD/Good Counsel) came home on a one-out double to left field by freshman left fielder Matt Christopher (Kennett Square, PA/Unionville) to give WC a 9-6 lead. Christopher scored on a single to center by Willis with two away to cap the two-run frame and gave the Shoremen a 10-6 lead heading into the last of the ninth. The Shoremen retired the Blue Jays in order in the bottom of the ninth.
For WC in game two, Thomas was 4-for-5 with three RBI and Normoyle was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI. Both homered for the Shoremen. Rolewicz was 2-for-5 with two RBI, while Willis was 2-for-4 with two runs plated. The team had 15 hits in game two. On the mound, sophomore pitcher AJ Schmalfuhs (Morristown, NJ/Morristown) got the win in relief and improves to 3-1. He tossed three innings to get the victory, while senior Steve Cameron (Laurel, MD/Reservoir) got the final nine outs for his first career save.
For Johns Hopkins, Lynch went 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI for the hosts. Neverman and Adam Weiner both went 2-for-4 while Denlinger drove in a pair of runs. On the hill, Tyler Goldstein took the loss and falls to 4-3. He allowed seven earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.
The two wins today were the first two conference tournament victories for the Shoremen, who are in the tournament for the second time. The team's other appearance was in 2010. It is the first time that WC is playing for the tournament crown.