Cedar Rapids, Iowa (5/31/2019) – A walk-off extra-inning victory highlighted a busy opening day of action at the NCAA Division III baseball championship Friday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Chapman University, the University of Massachusetts Boston, Johns Hopkins University and Birmingham-Southern College all notched first-day victories.
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In the opener, tournament veteran Chapman, making its 11th finals appearance, saw a 3-0 lead slip away in the sixth inning before putting away Washington & Jefferson College 6-3. The Presidents (37-12) tied it with a 2-run double deep to left field by James Artale. But Chapman (39-11) quickly answered with Max Cheli’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth en route to the win. Panthers starter Jonathan Hernandez stayed perfect at 9-0, giving up three runs on seven hits in eight innings. Closer Nick Garcia picked up his 10th save with a scoreless ninth inning.
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Massachusetts Boston struck late to overcome Webster University 4-3 for its 21st win in its last 23 outings. The Beacons (36-12) trailed 3-1 but got single tallies in the sixth and seventh innings, with a tying hit from Charlie Huegi, then got an unearned run without a hit in the eighth for the game-winner. Bobby Tramondozzi (4-2) got the win by finishing with 1.1 innings of hitless relief. Matt Staker had two hits and a walk for Webster (37-12), which had defeated UMass Boston in Florida in March.
JAYS WIN - 2-run GW double in the B10th for senior Tim Kutcher. Final: JHU-7, Babson-6 in the NCAA D# World Series. Hey ... @SCTopTen did you see that? #GoHop #CentConf #d3b pic.twitter.com/J39Y9dj0lU— Johns Hopkins Baseball (@JHUBaseball) June 1, 2019
Down to its last strike twice in the second inning, Johns Hopkins erupted for three 10th-inning runs to snatch a 7-6 walk-off victory from Babson University. Tim Kutcher roped a two-run double to left-center to win it for the Blue Jays (36-11). Nicholas Brown had positioned Babson (38-9) for the victory with a two-run home run in the top of the 10th. Johns Hopkins starter John Hejka muscled through 9.2 innings but reliever Preston Betz (5-2) got the win by securing the final 10th-inning out.
Birmingham-Southern (40-13) jumped on top early and was in command throughout a 6-1 decision over Heidelberg College (Ohio). The Panthers were up 3-0 after two innings as Brian Williams drove in a run with the first of his three hits. Birmingham-Southern added three runs in the sixth. Cole Steadman also had three hits with three RBIs. John Michael Shirley (7-2) limited Heidelberg to two hits over six innings. Zach Doran singled and scored for the Student Princes (35-14).
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