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Blue Jays Drop CWS Opener to #1 WashU

Blue Jays Drop CWS Opener to #1 WashU

Release courtesy of Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications

• Score:  Johns Hopkins-3, Washington University-9
• Records: JHU (15-5) • WASHU (33-4)
• Pitching Decision: W: Jared Fong (5-0) • L: Peter Schaefer (5-3)
• The Short Story: The top-seeded WashU Bears used a six-run eighth inning to defeat the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in the opening game of the 2021 Division III College World Series.

How it Happened
• A pitcher's duel was anticipated with Peter Schaefer on the mound for Hopkins and Ryan Loutos on the mound for WashU. We got just that through the first four innings of the contest.
• The Bears threatened early in the bottom of the 1st, but Schaefer was able to work out of an early jam. After retiring the opening batter, Schaefer hit Henry Singer with a pitch. Singer stole second & Caleb Durbin hit a slow chopper to short for an infield single. Durbin stole to put a pair of runners in scoring position, but Schaefer struck out Andrew Huang and got Clayton Miller to pop out to end the inning.
• After a couple strong innings from Loutos and Schaefer, the Bears struck first in the bottom of the fifth inning. Schaefer retired the first batter of the inning, but with one away Collin Kahal roped a single to center field. With Hunter Goldberg at the plate, the Bears put a hit-and-run in motion and executed perfectly with Goldberg shooting a ball through the hole as Dai Dai Otaka made his move to cover second. Kahal advanced to third on the play. A Tim Van Kirk HBP loaded the bases and a little cue ball off the end of Singer's bat scored Kahal to put the Bears up 1-0. Durbin lined a single to left, scoring Goldberg, but Van Kirk was thrown out at the plate by David Harding in left.
• Trailing 2-0, Otaka led off the top of the sixth inning with a single up the middle. AJ King picked up a one-out single, allowing Jared deFaria to load up the bases with a single to left. Loutos buckled down and responded with K's of Austin Sacks and James Ingram to keep the Bears ahead 2-0.
• Schaefer held serve in the bottom of the sixth despite having a runner on third with less than two away. Huang took a hit-by-pitch to start the inning, moving into scoring position on a throwing error from Otaka. Huang took off for third as Schaefer made a move to second, sliding in under the tag of Mark Lopez at third and drawing a challenge from Bob Babb. The runner was ruled safe at third, but Schaefer retired Johnny LaMantia and Bo Anderson to hold the deficit.
• The Jays finally broke through in the top of the seventh inning. After Loutos retired Lopez and Harding, Jack Pausic ripped a two-out single through the hole on the left side. Otaka lined one down the right-field line, past a diving defender, scoring Pausic with an RBI triple. Matthew Ritchie stepped into the box and found a similar spot down the right-field line, this time for an RBI double and a tie ballgame.
• The give-and-take continued in the bottom of the seventh, as replay worked to the Bears advantage. Schaefer retired the first batter before hitting Goldberg with a pitch. Van Kirk moved Goldberg up to second with an infield single. Schaefer hit another batter, this time Singer, loading the bases with one away. Durbin chopped one to short with Otaka tossing it over to Ritchie for out number two. Ritchie fired over to first, initially getting an out call from the first-base umpire, ending the inning. However, after replay, the call was overturned and Durbin was awarded an RBI on the fielder's choice to give WashU. a 3-2 lead.
 • Ever the resilient bunch, Hopkins didn't go quietly. Relief pitcher Kyle Coates retired deFaria before allowing a one-out double to Sacks. Coates hit Ingram with a pitch and allowed a single to Lopez, loading the bases. WashU. went to the bullpen, bringing in closer Jared Fong. Harding lofted a fly-ball to left, scoring Sacks with a sac fly and tying the contest at 3-3.
• Schaefer retired the first two hitters in the bottom of the eighth, but allowed a two-out single to Anderson before walking Kahal. Brian Linton entered to pitch for Hopkins. Facing the nine-hitter, Goldberg, Linton induced a soft pop-up, but it fell perfectly in between the trio of Linton, Ritchie and Otaka to load up the bases. Van Kirk saw a pitch he liked and laced it into the left-center gap, emptying the bases to put the Bears up 6-3. Singer brought him home with an RBI single up the middle to extend the lead to four. Durbin added the final insurance with a two-run bomb to left.

Inside the Box Score
• The Regional Tournament MVP, King went 3-5 in the contest, marking his third career College World Series three-hit game. King became the first JHU freshman to register a three-hit game in the CWS in 2019.
• Otaka's triple in the seventh inning was the first triple hit by a Johns Hopkins player in 2021.
• deFaria went 2-4 in the contest, reaching base in his 16th straight game and has now picked up a hit in 14 of his last 16 contests.
• Eight of the nine Blue Jay starters registered a hit in the contest and all nine reached base for the Blue Jays.
• Schaefer added five more strikeouts to his season total, putting him at 78. That number is tied for 10th-most in a single-season by a Hopkins pitcher.

Notes of Interest
• The Blue Jays are 5-4 all-time in College World Series elimination games.
• The Blue Jays met potential elimination round opponent, Adrian, in the 2008 College World Series, defeating them 3-2 in a 14-inning thriller. Hopkins has never matched up against potential opponent St. Thomas.
Up Next
• Johns Hopkins will play the loser of the Adrian/St. Thomas matchup tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. local time.