Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Hopkins Falls to Lynchburg in National Championship Series

Hopkins Falls to Lynchburg in National Championship Series

Release courtesy of Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The top-ranked and top-seeded Johns Hopkins baseball team fell to sixth-ranked and third-seeded Lynchburg, 7-6, in the deciding game of the 2023 NCAA Division III Baseball World Series at Veterans Memorial Stadium Thursday afternoon.  The Blue Jays finish the season as the national runner-up for the second time (2008) and cap the year with a school-record 48 wins (48-8).
After dropping the opening game of the best-of-three series on Wednesday afternoon, the Blue Jays forced the third and deciding game with an 11-6 win in the second game earlier on Thursday.  That set the stage for the winner-take-all finale, which came down the final two innings.
Game Two Summary
The Blue Jays picked up right where they left off in game one as they pushed across four runs in the top of the first to grab a quick 4-0 lead.  A Dillon Souvignier RBI triple pushed home Matthew Cooper before Souvignier raced home on a Shawn Steuerer sacrifice fly.  Three batters later, Caleb Cyr went deep to left with Sam Frank aboard to account for the four-run first inning outburst.
The Hornets answered in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs off Blue Jay starters Ben Keever.  Brandon Garcia and Avery Neaves both came around to score on a Gavin Collins single after drawing walks.  Blue Jay reliever Cole Jefferson was able to come in and strand a pair of runners to keep the Blue Jay lead at 4-2 after an inning.
Lynchburg had things even an inning later as the Hornets touched Jefferson for a pair of runs on a two-out, two-run Benton Jones home run to right field.
The Blue Jays left a pair of runners on in the third but retook the lead in the fifth on a two-out Sam Frank solo home run to left gave Hopkins a 5-4 at the midway point.  The Hornets saved a run one play before Frank's home run as they caught Souvignier on a stolen base attempt.

As quickly as the Blue Jays had retaken the lead it was gone as the Hornets pushed across a crocked number in the bottom of the inning to grab a 7-5 lead.  After loading the bases with nobody out, Lynchburg got a bases-clearing double to right center from Jackson Harding before Jaspar Carmichael ended the inning with back-to-back strikeouts.
Johns Hopkins pulled within a run in the eighth on a Dylan Whitney single to right center that Frank scored on, but Lynchburg centerfielder Carrson Atkins threw a strike to home plate on the play to throw out Lucas Geer with the potential tying run.  The Blue Jays reloaded the bases on a hit by pitch one batter later, but Wesley Arrington got an inning-ending strikeout to keep the lead intact.
The Hornets went in order in the eighth, but Arrington put the Blue Jays down 1-2-3 in the ninth to seal the first national championship in program history for Lynchburg.
Inside the Box Score – Johns Hopkins (Game Two)
• Cooper and Souvignier combined to go 5-for-10 with two runs scored and one RBI at the top of the lineup.
• Cyr was 1-for-3 with the home run and two RBIs, while Frank scored three of Hopkins' six runs.
• Hopkins' two home runs in the game extended its NCAA Division III record to 114 this season.
Inside the Box Score – Lynchburg (Game Tw0)
• Holden Fiedler collected three of Lynchburg's seven hits in the game as he was 3-for-4 with a run scored.
• Harding (3), Gavin Collins (2) and Brenton Jones (2) combined to knock in all seven Hornet runs.
• Jack Bachmore got the start and worked five innings to pick up the win.  After allowing the four first-inning runs, he allowed just the Frank home run in the fifth before turning the game over to the bullpen.  Three Hornet relievers combined to allow just two hits and one run over the final four innings.
Game One Summary
Johns Hopkins rode Gabe Romano's fourth complete game of the season into the winner-take-all game.  Romano threw a career-high 164 pitches and struck out nine while walking just one to force the deciding game; five of the six runs he allowed were unearned.
The Blue Jays turned an early 3-1 deficit into a 7-3 lead in the first game with a single run in the third and a five-spot in the fifth.  Souvignier, who opened the third with a double, raced home on a Tripp Myers single to right to trim the margin to 3-2.

Two innings later, the Blue Jays chased Lynchburg starter Brandon Pond as they pushed out to the four-run lead.  Cooper opened the inning with towering home run to left and Souvignier followed with a double to left center.  Steuerer reached on an error, Pond retired a pair before Cyr drew a walk and Jimmy Stevens found the corner in right field for a double that plated Steuerer and Cyr.  Whitney then poked a single to right center off reliever Matt Cassidy that chased home Stevens to give the Blue Jays the 7-3 lead.
Cassidy held the Blue Jays scoreless for the next two innings before they touched him for two more runs in the top of the eighth to extend the lead to 11-3. After the first two Hopkins batters of the inning – Whitney and Charlie Monterrosa – reached on a single and a hit-by-pitch, Cooper followed with a two-run double off the wall in left that plated Whitney and pinch runner Jake Siani.
Hopkins closed its scoring in game one with a two-run Stevens home run in the ninth to make it 11-3.  The Hornets wouldn't go quietly as they capitalized on a Blue Jay error to push across three unearned runs.   The Hornets scored all three runs with two outs with a run-scoring triple, double and single pushing home runs.  Romano, who had gotten the first two outs on strikeouts, closed the game with a strikeout of Sean Pokorak.
Inside the Box Score – Johns Hopkins (Game One)
• Whitney went 3-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI and was one of four JHU players with a multi-hit game.
• Cooper was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Stevens added two hits, two runs scored and four RBIs.
• Romano improved to 11-1 with his complete-game victory.  The 11 wins are tied for the fourth-most on JHU's single-season pitching list.
Inside the Box Score – Lynchburg (Game One)
• Brandon Garcia picked up three of the Hornets' nine hits in the game as he was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
• Pond took the loss and went 4.2 innings and allowed seven runs (three earned) and six hits before giving way to Cassidy.
Notes of Interest
• Johns Hopkins was represented on the All-Tournament team by Ramano, Steuerer, Souvignier and Matt Savedoff.
• This was just the second time since the NCAA moved to the best-of-three championship series format that the series was pushed to a third game.

 - 30 -