Fords rally past Rangers, live to fight another day at Regional
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Nick Miranda's single through the right side scored Alex Hudak with what proved to be the game-winning run in Haverford College's 12-inning, 11-9 victory over Drew University on Thursday afternoon at the Mid-Atlantic Regional of the 2012 NCAA Division III baseball tournament. Mike Bozzi, in his longest collegiate outing, earned the win for the Fords shutting down the Rangers over the final six-plus innings.
The Fords (25-18) move on to Friday at the Regional when they will square off against the loser of Thursday's Keystone College versus Ramapo College of New Jersey match-up. The Friday game for Haverford will begin at 10 a.m. Drew's season ends with a 22-21 record.
Trailing 9-1 entering the sixth inning, Haverford was able to cut into the lead with four runs off Drew starting pitcher Alex Taylor. Two more in the eighth pulled the Fords within two.
Facing its last at-bat, possibly of the season, Haverford rallied for another two runs in the top of the ninth to knot the game at 9-9. Miranda's lead-off single turned into the first run in the inning and Justin Coulter -- whose single down the left field line had pushed Miranda home -- crossed the plate for the tying run on a successful bunt single by Casey Fox.
While the Fords' offense was rallying from the eight-run deficit, Bozzi was silencing the Rangers' bats which had pounded out nine runs on 11 hits against three different Haverford pitchers in the game's first five innings.
Bozzi came on in the sixth and didn't allow a base runner until the 10th. A single in the 11th was his only blemish in the penultimate inning, setting up 12th-inning heroics from the Haverford bats.
Hudak singled up the middle to open the 12th then moved to second on Matt Liscovitz's sacrifice fly. Mike Tentilucci reached safely after Drew reliever Pat Rock hit him, putting runners on first and second with one out.
A William Bannard grounder moved Hudak to third but erased Tentilucci from the bases. Still, the Fords had runners on the corners with Miranda coming up to the plate.
Miranda singled through the right side scoring Hudak, then Marley Randazoo singled up the middle allowing Bannard to score, completing the improbable rally.
Bozzi closed out the win in the bottom of the 12th and the Fords earned another game at the regional. The victory was the first time all season Haverford has come-from-behind when trailing after the seventh inning.
Miranda and Coulter each collected three hits apiece in the win with Fox, Hudak and Bannard joining the multi-hit club. Coulter and Bannard both registered a pair of RBIs to help lead the late-inning rally.
Bozzi (3-0) earned the win throwing 6.2 innings allowing just three hits and no walks while striking out seven. Rock (7-3) took the heartbreaking loss for the Rangers surrendering three runs off of seven hits and a walk over four innings on the mound.