Blue Jays Kick off Season with Tie

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BALTIMORE, MD  – The #22 Johns Hopkins baseball remains unbeaten in its last seven season-openers, though the 2012 season did not open in typical baseball fashion. The Blue Jays began the new season with a 7-7 tie with Alvernia, Monday afternoon at the Blue Jay Baseball Diamond.

The Blue Jays are now 0-0-1 on the season while the Crusaders move to 1-1-1 on the season.

Johns Hopkins got the first hit of the game in the bottom of the second inning, but it was the Crusaders who got on the scoreboard first. In the top of the second, Eric Domitrovits scored on an error by the Blue Jay pitcher, Alex Eliopoulos. Eliopoulos settled down after the second and kept the Crusaders off the board over the next three frames. Alvernia's Travis Wrambrel hit a line drive sac fly to center to drive Domitrovits and chase Eliopoulos in the sixth and bring in senior Sam Eagleson. Eagleson gave up an RBI-double to give the Crusaders a 3-0 lead after six. Eagleson got himself out of the inning with a 4-6-3 double play.

The Blue Jays evened out the score in the home half of the inning. After a walk to junior Mike Kanen, senior Aaron Borenstein reached on a tough error on a sky-high pop up to the Crusader's first baseman to put two runners on for junior Jeff Lynch.  Lynch ripped a 1-1 pitch to right center to score Kanen and put runners on second and third for junior Hank Sanders.  After taking the first pitch for a strike, Sanders collected his second hit of the game with a single to left center. Borenstein scored and Lynch moved to third on the hit. Junior Ryan Zakszeski sent a ball to center field just far enough to score Lynch on the sacrifice fly and tie the game at three.

The Crusaders got one back in the top of the seventh but the Blue Jays quickly answered in the bottom of the inning. Junior Matt Ricci led off the inning with a single to left field and eventually came around to score on double from junior Kyle Neverman after a walk to senior Mike Musary. With two runners in scoring position, Kanen took the first pitch he saw from pitcher Anthony Gambino far over the fence in right center to give Hopkins a 7-4 lead after seven innings for his first career home run.

Alvernia got a run back in the eighth on a bases-loaded wild pitch and two more in the top of the ninth on a bases-loaded walk and another wild pitch from a Blue Jay hurler to tie the game, 7-7.

The Blue Jays went out in order in the bottom of the ninth and because of darkness, the game was called with the score knotted at seven apiece. It is just the 11th tie the Blue Jays have posted under the direction of head coach Bob Babb and the 25th in Blue Jay baseball history. It is just the second time Hopkins has opened its season in a tie and first time since 1947 when the Blue Jays tied Drexel 2-2 to kick off its season.

Sanders and Neverman finished the day with two hits each while Kanen led the way with three RBIs for the Blue Jays. Eliopoulos was impressive on the mound, throwing 5.1 innings in his season-debut, striking out eight while scattering three hits and giving up just three runs, two earned.

The Blue Jays return to the diamond when they host Messiah on March 1. First pitch is scheduled for 3 pm.