Johns Hopkins is clearly ready to get on the field for today's opening round of the Division III College Baseball World Series.
"Let's put the gloves and bats in the field and see who's better," Blue Jays coach Bob Babb said of the eight-team, double-elimination tournament at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis. "Our players are just ready to go out and perform. At this point, we don't need any more incentive."
Hopkins (38-6) will meet Adrian College of Michigan (34-11) today at 2:15 p.m. in the second game of the World Series.
Senior third baseman Todd Emr, the Blue Jays' leader in RBIs with 64, said: "We think we have a great chance to win it all. We feel if we play like we can play, we can beat any team in the country.
"If we get a strong pitching performance from our pitchers and swing the bats like we have all year, I don't think we should have a problem," said Emr, whose .476 average is third best for Hopkins.
If the Blue Jays win today, they will face Chapman (Calif.) or Kean (N.J.) tomorrow at 4:30. Chapman is 39-3 and ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll. Fourth-ranked Kean (39-9) is the defending champion and the team that kept Hopkins out of the World Series last season with a 5-4, 10-inning victory in the Mid-Atlantic Regional final.
This is only the second Hopkins team to advance to the College World Series and the first since 1989.
Babb has three hitters batting over .475, seven pitchers with 20 or more strikeouts, and four All-Centenial Conference first-team members.
Senior center fielder, Rob Pietroforte, is a d3.com candidate for National Player of the Year. He leads the team in runs scored (63) and stolen bases (24), is tied for first in doubles (20), and is second in batting average (.483), home runs (six) and slugging percentage (.792).
Sophomore right fielder Brian Youchak leads in batting average (.500) and home runs (nine).