|Babson's celebration lasted into Saturday evening.
Photo by Pat Coleman, D3sports.com
At one point, everyone was talking about The Catch, but Saturday at the 2019 Division III World Series was the day of The Walkoff. Babson scored five times in the bottom of the ninth to eliminate Heidelberg -- even despite the amazing catch by Robert Hunt to rob Eric Jaun of extra bases early in the game. Birmingham-Southern won in the bottom of the 10th against a drawn-in, five-man infield alignment by Johns Hopkins. Washington & Jefferson eliminated Webster after a nail-biter of a 3-2 game, and even the game which looked like a blowout resulted in Mass-Boston having to bring in its closer to hold off Chapman.
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The Blue Jays used a drawn-in infield and a fifth infielder once Birmingham-Southern loaded the bases with one out in the 10th. Tyler Wise hit a bouncer to the left of the mound which Johns Hopkins shortstop Mike Eberle was in position to field, and fielded cleanly. His throw, however, was short of the plate and catcher AJ King could not dig it out, allowing Rich Misischia to slide home with the game-winning run. BSC now awaits the winner of Johns Hopkins and Babson and needs to win just once to advance to the best-of-three Division III Championship Series.
Mass-Boston is the other team sitting at 2-0, as the Beacons jumped on Chapman All-America pitcher Tyler Peck early and held on to defeat the Panthers 10-6. Nine players came to the plate for the Beacons in the second, as Mass-Boston loaded the bases with nobody out and scored on a smash through the box, an infielder grounder, a safety squeeze and a double.
Babson remained alive with five in the bottom of the ninth, and they needed all five because Heidelberg scored two insurance runs in the top half of the inning. The ninth inning took 53 minutes and saw seven runs score, with three pitching changes. Babson opened their turn at bat with a triple by Eric Jaun that the right fielder could not reach and chased the ball to the outfield wall. Edward Lehr's single brought home Jaun and trimmed the deficit to three runs. Walks to Nicholas Browne and Thomas Lapham loaded the bases for Brian McHale. A sacrifice fly brought home Lehr to make it a two-run game. Conner Gill singled to left to reload the bases and a base on balls by Wenning made the margin a single run. Tristan Phillips relieved Wenning, coming in to face Oliger who deposited his low slider into the outfield and the celebration was on.
Washington & Jefferson remained alive thanks to a key run on a double steal, and Presidents' starter Nick Drake settling down after a rough couple of innings to post a key 5-1/3 innings pitched in a 3-2 win vs. Webster. All of the scoring came in the first three innings, and while Webster reliever Shane Donovan came in to shut down W&J for the last four innings and give his team a chance to win, the Gorloks were unable to capitalize.
And The Catch was the No. 1 play on SportsCenter, and not just because Heidelberg alumnus John Buccigross pulled some strings. This is legit baseball.
Pat and Jim wrap it up below, including Mass-Boston coach Brendan Eygabroat talking about the Rally Fish: