By Chris McManes
WASHINGTON – It was a great day for Catholic University when the baseball team became the eighth Cardinal program to advance to the NCAA Tournament this school year.
It was not so good Thursday at Santander Stadium in York, Pa., when the seventh-seeded Cards were eliminated from the playoffs. Johns Hopkins took a 9-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning en route to a 15-3 victory.
CUA ends the season 27-16-1 (.625). The Redbirds' final two victories came on May 9 when they rallied from a game down to sweep a doubleheader on the road against Moravian and capture their fourth Landmark Conference championship.
Hopkins, which also defeated the Cardinals 12-3 on April 16, improves to 28-12-1 and will continue playing in the eight-team NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional. The third-seeded Blue Jays put up a season-high 22 hits Friday.
Hopkins scored two runs in the first off Karan Sinha (3-3), who in four innings allowed seven hits, five runs (two earned) and struck out three. Mark Duffy, who combined with Sinha to pitch CUA to a 10-6 victory at Moravian in game one May 9, gave up eight hits and four earned runs in 1 and 2/3 innings.
Landmark Tournament MVP Stefan Poggioli was 1-for-3 and knocked in a run. The junior center fielder also walked twice.
CUA got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh after Andrew Stewart and Hinchcliff were hit by pitches. Schmidt drove in Stewart with a two-out single to the right side, and Poggioli singled to third to drive in Hinchcliff. Freshman Anthony Ferlise reached on JHU's only error the game to load the bases before Eric Scamardella grounded into a fielder's choice.
The Blue Jays tacked on six more runs in the ninth and will play Penn State Berks in an elimination game on Friday at 10 a.m.
Senior Craig Hoelzer went 4-for-6 for Hopkins and had three RBIs. Sophomore Ryan Orgielewicz finished 3-for-5, including his third home run of the season. He plated three runs and scored a career-high four times. Three other Blue Jays collected three hits apiece.
Carter Burns improved to 5-1 by tossing six innings of three-hit, scoreless ball. The 6-4 junior struck out five, walked three and hit two.
The Cardinals fell into the elimination bracket by losing to Alvernia, 3-2, on Wednesday night. The Crusaders scored two runs in the sixth for the final margin of victory and outhit CUA, 9-6. David Gately (5-5) pitched eight innings for the Cards and took the loss. He scattered nine hits, gave up one earned run, walked two and struck out seven.