Overlooked JHU baseball still firmly among elite

No. 8 Jays bid for 11th trip to NCAAs under Babb

State notebook

Colleges

May 02, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Not much has changed in Johns Hopkins sports.

The lacrosse team is No. 1 in the country, and the baseball team (32-6) keeps racking up victories.

As usual, coach Bob Babb's baseball squad has basically been overlooked by the lacrosse lovers around town, even though it is ranked No. 8 in the nation in Division III.

Babb has long since learned to live with the situation and continues to produce one stellar team after another. If the Blue Jays make the Division III tournament this spring, it will be their 11th trip to the tournament under Babb.

This year's version of Hopkins baseball has a little bit of everything - strong pitching, excellent hitting, speed, "deep depth" as former Orioles manager Earl Weaver used to say, and clutch hitting.

Hopkins rolled through the Centennial Conference's regular season with a 16-2 record and is top-seeded in this weekend's four-team conference tournament.

The winner of tomorrow's Muhlenberg-Ursinus game will join Hopkins and second-seeded Franklin and Marshall on Saturday and Sunday in Centennial tournament play at Hopkins.

The Centennial winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic regional tournament.

It's impossible to narrow the number of Blue Jays standouts to a few.

But some of the top contributors to the team's success have been senior right-handed starting pitcher Yani Rosenberg (Gilman), who has an 8-0 record this season and is 27-3 in his career, and senior outfielder Mike DePalma (team-leading .438 batting average).

Also, freshman third baseman Mike Durgala (.421 with a .658 slugging percentage), sophomore catcher Doug Hitchner (.421 with 20 RBIs), sophomore outfielder Craig Cetta (.376 with a team-high 37 RBIs) and senior first baseman Ben Taylor (.405 with a team-high six home runs and .738 slugging percentage).

Big as they come

Western Maryland's Lauren Cramer realized a dream that not many athletes get to experience.

With an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III softball tournament and the Centennial Conference championship on the line Monday, Cramer walked to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning against Gettysburg with the score tied at 4.

Cramer slammed a two-run, game-winning home run to not only send the Terror to the NCAAs, but give Western Maryland (29-6) a school-record 29 wins.

Mount brings back Brown

Milan Brown has returned to Mount St. Mary's as associate head men's basketball coach to Jim Phelan.

Brown spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at William and Mary after serving as Phelan's assistant from 1997 to 2000. He was an important part of the Mount staff that guided the team to the NCAA tournament in 1999.

"Milan [31] is a rising star in the coaching ranks," said Phelan. "He's a terrific recruiter, he understands our situation here, and knows what we need to get the job done here."

Boyd breaks record

UMBC senior shortstop Jared Boyd hit two doubles Tuesday against Towson, giving him the school's single-season record of 27.

Boyd broke the mark of 26 set in 1991 by John Burns.

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