Gettysburg upsets No. 2/3 Johns Hopkins, 8-7

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BALTIMORE – Freshman Luke Lawrence tossed seven stellar innings of relief while junior Tommy LeNoir belted the go-ahead home run to cap a seven-run fourth inning as Gettysburg erased an early six-run deficit to beat No. 2/3 Johns Hopkins University 8-7 Tuesday afternoon at the JHU Baseball Diamond. 

With the win, the Bullets (21-10, 7-4 CC) snapped the Blue Jays 20-game winning streak and won their season-high sixth game in a row. Gettysburg has also won its last five Centennial Conference outings. Johns Hopkins (27-3, 10-1 CC), ranked No. 2 in Division III by and No. 3 by the American Baseball Coaches Association, had not lost since St. Patrick's Day and suffered its first Centennial Conference loss of the year. 

Gettysburg, which had not defeated the Blue Jays in Baltimore since 1999 prior to their last season's 6-1 victory, have now won two in a row at JHU. 

Lawrence (3-3) worked the longest outing of his young career at Gettysburg and allowed just one run on four hits and one walk while striking out two. He also contributed to a pair of double plays in both the seventh and eighth innings. After Lawrence hit a batter with one out in the ninth, sophomore Brett Harrington came on to induce a pair of fly-outs to earn his first collegiate save. 

Sophomore Scott Zanghellini had a big game at the plate for the Bullets, finishing 3-for-5 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs while junior Al Posch went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and pushed his hitting streak to 15. Senior Pat Cody added a 2-for-4 day at the plate and has now hit safely in 19 straight games. Ryan Zakszeski went 3-for-3 with four RBIs for Johns Hopkins. 

The Blue Jays seized on a two-out error to score five unearned runs in the bottom of the first, which was capped by a three-run homer from Zakszeski. Hopkins added another run in the second against junior starter Chris Yoda, but Lawrence came on to get the final two outs of the inning. 

Gettysburg got on the scoreboard in the third, when Zanghellini singled and went on to score on an infield single by Posch. The Bullets then erupted with their big fourth inning, when they sent 11 batters to the plate. Cody led off with a double and scored on an error before Zanghellini followed up with a two-run double to right-center, making it 6-4. 

Posch cut it to one with a single to center before LeNoir followed up his big blast, an opposite-field shot that just cleared the rightfield fence to put the Orange and Blue up 8-6. After Cody singled for his second hit of the inning, starter Colin Friedman (3-1) was replaced by Richie Carbone, who got the final out of the inning. 

The Bullets were unable to dent the Johns Hopkins bullpen, as Carbone, Thomas Harper, and Zach Augustine combined to throw 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Gettysburg left runners on first and second in both the sixth against Carbone and in the eighth versus Harper. In the ninth, junior Nate Simon led off with a single and reached third but Augustine escaped with a pop-out. 

Lawrence blanked the Blue Jays in the third and fourth before Hopkins scratched out a run in the fifth. Jeff Lynch was hit with a pitch leading off and went on to score on a two-out single by Zakszeski. 

The Blue Jays threatened in the seventh, putting runners on the corners with one out. But that's when Chris Wilhelm lined back to Lawrence, who fired to first for a 1-3 double play to end the inning. 

Lawrence also had a hand in a twin killing in the eighth, when, following a leadoff walk, he induced a 1-6-3 double play. Though he would hit the next batter, he got out of the inning with a groundout. 

In the bottom of the ninth, No. 2 hitter Kyle Neverman fouled out to first before Colin McCarthy was hit with a pitch. But Harrington, making just his second appearance of the year, got Lynch to fly out to right before Mike Denlinger was retired in the air to left for the final out. Harrington also picked up the win in relief against Washington College this past Saturday, throwing a scoreless 10th in a 4-3 victory. 

The two teams complete their season series on Friday, when they play another nine-inning game at Gettysburg starting at 3:30 p.m.