By Pat Coleman
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Birmingham-Southern chased Johns Hopkins’ starting pitcher after just one out and put up five in the first, clinching its spot in the 2019 Division III Championship Series with a 15-4 win vs. the Blue Jays.
Johns Hopkins, which would have needed to beat BSC twice to advance, saw its season end at 36-12.
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Birmingham-Southern (42-13) will get a rare day off at the Division III World Series and will await either Chapman or Mass-Boston. The two teams play at noon CT on Monday in a winner-take-all game. The winner advances to the best-of-three D3CS, which will start at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 4.
In case one five-spot wasn’t enough, the Panthers put another five-run inning on the board in the fourth as the Blue Jays brought in a string of pitchers to try to stem the tide.
|Birmingham-Southern gost past Johns Hopkins twice in as many nights.
File photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
“They just kind of responded, and Tristan (Harvin) came out and gave us a good start, just like the super regional, he kind of let it settle in,” said BSC coach Jay Weisberg. “Obviously scoring first helped, and getting that big lead.”
BSC sent 10 to the plate in the first inning, including six against starter Matthew Dillard, who was only able to get one out. All five runs in the first were charged to Dillard, as Luke DePiero walked to drive in a run, Trevor Hamel, Alfredo Granier and Cole Steadman each had RBI singles, while Richie Misischia hit a shallow fly ball to center which was still enough to bring a run home.
John Donohue stemmed the tide for a short while with two and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, but the next three relievers combined to allow 10 runs, albeit only five of them earned, over the next four innings as BSC put the game away.
Tyler Wise went 3-for-4 with three runs scored for the Panthers, while Hamel, A.J. Hunt, DePiero, Granier and Steadman each had two hits. Steadman had a game-high three RBI.
Pete Manny hit a home run for the Blue Jays, their 83rd homer of the season, extending their school record and the NCAA Division III lead.
Harvin went six innings, striking out six and allowing four runs, all earned, to improve to 5-0.
Mass-Boston had a chance to clinch a Championship Series berth as well, but was unable to beat Chapman, so the teams will meet again on Monday while BSC rests.
“I think our guys understand that whichever team we play is going to be a really good team,” Weisberg said. “I feel better going into it being well rested and not having relied too heavily on our bullpen, but I don’t think our guys are going to look at it and assume we have a big advantage, because at this point, it’s going to be a battle.”