Reserve outfielder David Santana, hitting only .183, delivered two RBI singles in the last two innings, and reliever Tom Botwin, sporting a 12.39 ERA, blanked Navy for 3 2/3 innings as Monmouth College rallied to beat the Midshipmen, 8-4, in the deciding game of the NCAA play-in series in Annapolis.
The Hawks (30-19), from the Northeast Conference, capitalized on five walks, four hit batsmen and three Navy errors to gain their first NCAA tournament berth.
For the Mids (26-17), with only two senior starters, it was a bitter end to an outstanding season.
The rotation in the best-of-three playoff left Navy coach Bob MacDonald with relatively inexperienced pitchers to use in the deciding game -- sophomore starter Craig Trent and freshmen ** relievers Mike Poe, David Self and Ben Abshire.
The Hawks tied it in the seventh and went ahead 5-4 in the eighth when Santana, who had entered the game the previous inning as a defensive replacement, stroked a two-out single to center. Santana got another RBI in the nine when Monmouth added three runs.
Trent was given a 4-1 lead thanks to a three-run, five-hit third inning the Mids put together against the Hawks' top pitcher, Brian Moyer, who had won his past seven starts.
But Trent unraveled in the fourth when Monmouth loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a bunt single by Chris Montenegro.
Trent appeared poised to escape the jam when he struck out Fred Kampf and Jeff Toth. But a wild pitch delivered a run and Trent then plunked catcher Dan Coia to force home another run and make it 4-3.
Johns Hopkins 11, Rowan 9: John Christ had four hits, scored four runs and tied a school record with four stolen bases as the Blue Jays eliminated Rowan (24-12) from the Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional in Moosic, Pa.
Hopkins (36-3) lost its opener to College of New Jersey, 3-1, in the double-elimination tournament and will play Kean, Montclair or Allentown today at 3 p.m.
Hopkins 301 110 410 -- 11 17 4
Rowan 000 013 023 -- 9 9 6
Flannery, Ciarallo (8), Christ (9) and Craig; Makeymowicz, Neill (4), Mammen (5), Vengenock (7) and Dougherty. 2B: JHU--Frain 2; R--Huckel, Jones. 3B: JHU--Christ, Garris; R--Dougherty.
Pub Date: 5/16/98