FORT MYERS, Fla. – With the tying run 90 feet away the 19th ranked Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins University recorded three consecutive outs to escape with a 5-4 non-conference win over UMass Boston Wednesday afternoon at the Player Development Complex.
The Blue Jays were able to earn the victory thanks in part to a four-run top of the first. Their deciding run came in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly to right field. Earning the victory on the mound for JHU was Tyler Goldstein who went five complete and allowed three of the Beacons four runs on five hits. Thomas Harper earned the save, his second of the year, after closing out the ninth.
After the rocky first inning, the Beacons started to wake-up midway through the contest. First baseman Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.), who had the Beacons only hit going into the bottom of the fourth, led off the inning with a single to center field. He would then record his first career steal to put the Beacons first runner in scoring position since Todd Ezold's (Westfield, Mass.) double in the fourth. The Agawam native then moved over to third following a wild pitch. Anthony Searles (Shelton, Conn.) represented the Beacons second run of the afternoon following a walk and a stolen base to put runners on second and third with no outs.
Johns Hopkins recorded a pair of strikeouts, before Daniel Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) crushed a two-run double to right center to cut the Blue Jays lead to two. He two would move over to third base on a perfectly executed double steal, following a Jamill Moquete (Boston, Mass.) walk.
Unfortunately the Blue Jays would escape the inning on a 6-3 groundout. After a scoreless top half of the sixth the Beacons came out swinging in the bottom half as Charles LaPaglia (Marshfield, Mass.) led off the inning with a monster triple to center field. The junior would go on to score UMass Boston's third run of the day on a 1-4-3 RBI groundout by Szatrowski.
The top of the seventh would be the deciding inning for Johns Hopkins as they scored their game-winning run on the sac fly. They did lead off the inning with back-to-back singles, but were held to the lone run following a strikeout by Josh Cummiskey (Lowell, Mass.), the fly out to right field, and a caught stealing at second base to end the inning.
In the eighth neither team produced any solid chances, while in the top half of the ninth the Blue Jays would once again threaten. However the Beacons defense came up big to keep the deficit at two.
To start off the inning Szatrowski ripped a single through the right side to end his day 3-for-4 at the plate. He would also record his first RBI and his first of two runs scored in the loss. Searles then moved his teammate to third on a single to right field. He then moved over to second with his second stolen base of the afternoon to put the tying run in scoring position.
Johns Hopkins did get the first out of the inning on a groundout, but with Szatrowski and Searles each moving-up 90 feet they quickly saw their lead slipping through their fingers. Unfortunately for the Beacons, the Blue Jays did manage to hang on as they recorded back-to-back outs to end the game.
Lucas Ilges (Gloucester, Mass.) was handed his first loss of the year after allowing four runs, one earned, on six hits through the first 4.1 innings. He walked just two batters and struck out one. Cummiskey came in and had a strong performance as he went the next 3.2. The righty allowed the lone Blue Jays run on four hits, but also struck out three. Daniel Heefner (Tracy, Calif.) closed out the top of the ninth allowing just the two singles.
Mantoni had another strong day for the Beacons as he went 1-for-4 with the two run double, while also picking up his seventh stolen base of the year. LaPaglia's triple marked the third straight for the outfielder, who tied the program record for triples in a game with two, yesterday afternoon.
Baseball returns to action tomorrow afternoon when they take on Bethel University (Minn.) at 1 p.m. at Terry Park field number four.