BALTIMORE, MD. – Johns Hopkins scored six times in the bottom of the fifth to erase a 4-0 deficit and the Blue Jays defeated 10th-ranked Cortland, 7-5, to close out Day 1 of the Baltimore Invitational.
Cortland (3-3-1) and Johns Hopkins (4-1) will meet again Sunday at 10:30 a.m. to conclude the tournament. JHU and Cortland each beat Rutgers-Camden earlier in the day Saturday.
Cortland lost to the Blue Jays despite Red Dragon pitchers allowing only three hits and striking out 17 batters. Cortland, however, also issued 11 walks and committed three errors, with only three of the Blue Jays' seven runs being earned.
Cortland took a 3-0 lead in the third. Paul Franzese (Somers) led off with a single and eventually scored on an error two batters later. Giordano doubled with one out and Wyatt Myers (Chittenango) hit a two-run single. Mat Bruno's (Rye) solo homer with one out in the top of the fourth extended the Red Dragon lead to 4-0.
Hopkins scored six times in the bottom of the fifth behind two hits, five walks and an error. The first three batters reached via base on balls and Brad Parsons hit a sac fly to center. Mike Eberle drove in a run with an RBI single and, with two outs, Frank Clara hit an RBI double down the left field line. Cortland looked like it would escape the inning leading 4-3, but a misplayed pop-up in the infield let two runs score to put JHU up 5-4. The hosts scored their final run of the inning after a hit batter and two walks, the latter a bases-loaded free pass to Matt Ritchie.
The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the seventh without a hit as AJ King walked, stole second with one out, and scored when the ball was thrown away from first base trying to get King out at third after a grounder.
Myers hit a solo homer to lead off the top of the eighth to cut Cortland's deficit to 7-5. Marcos Perivolaris (Mattituck) bunted for a single, but reliever Seamus Ryan-Johnson entered and induced a double play grounder. Cortland still got a runner to third in the inning on a Bruno single, a steal and a wild pitch, but a strikeout ended the threat. Ryan-Johnson struck out the side in order in the ninth to earn the save.
Matt Valin (LaFargeville) started for Cortland and struck out nine batters while allowing one hit over the first four innings. Valin, however, was pulled after walking the first two batters in the fifth. He ended up allowing five walks and two runs. Isiah Hudson (Hyde Park/FDR) took the loss after being charged with three runs, one earned, in the fifth. The Red Dragons' final three relievers allowed no hits and two unearned runs over a combined three and a third innings, but did walk five batters. Of those pitchers, Jake Casey (Homer) struck out two and walked two in an inning and a third and Chris Puzakulics (Vestal) struck out four batters and walked one over the final inning and two thirds.
Jack Bunting started for Hopkins and gave up four runs, two earned, on six hits in five innings. He struck out six and did not walk anyone and earned the win. Jonah Offman gave up three hits and a run with two strikeouts in two innings. For the game, Hopkins' pitchers struck out 12 batters and did not issue a walk.
Giordan, Myers, Perivolaris and Bruno each went 2-for-4, with Myers driving home three runs. Eberle was 2-for-3 with two walks and Ritchie walked three times to lead Hopkins.