HAVERFORD, Pa. – Luke Frankiw's walk-off, two-RBI single to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning pushed home the winning runs in a 10-9 non-conference victory over the visiting Cardinals from St. John Fisher College on Saturday at Kannerstein Field. The Game 2 victory, coupled with a 3-0 win in the day's opener, pushed 22nd-ranked Haverford College's season-opening unbeaten streak to 12, a program record.
Haverford (12-0) took the early lead in Game 2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first, erasing a 1-0 deficit, then added two more in the fourth on Hudak's home run to left field following Casey Fox's single to right-center field.
Starting pitcher Patrick Falkoff pitched into the fifth inning for the Fords but allowed the Cardinals (7-4) to claw back into the game with two runs in the fourth and then the tying run in the fifth before giving way to reliever John Miraglia who sat down the final two batters of the fifth.
St. John Fisher tagged Miraglia for four runs in the sixth then plated another in the seventh, off Kyle Waney who started the inning in relief of Miraglia, to forge a 9-4 lead heading into the Fords' half of the seventh.
William Bannard's lead-off single in the bottom of the frame turned into a run on an RBI ground out by Matt Liscovitz. Fisher starting pitcher Adam Pettinella closed out the inning but gave way to Shawn Corrigan to start the eighth and that's when the fun began for the Fords.
Hudak's lead-off single in the eighth eventually turned into a run to trim the deficit to three but the Fords left the bases loaded as Corrigan doused the fire. The bottom of the ninth would be a different story after Max Gerard relieved Waney to start the ninth and retired the Cardinals in order without the ball leaving the infield.
Fisher made one last pitching change, a fateful one, to start the ninth and Liscovitz opened the inning reaching safely on an error by the shortstop. The Cardinals' Tom Dybas then surrendered a hard single up the middle to Casey Fox followed by a single to short, right field by Hudak to load the bases.
Dybas walked Sam Kane to push Liscovitz home for the first run of the inning, then followed with a strikeout of George Hatimaya for the first out. However, the strikeout pitch got away from catcher Nick Flemister and all the base runners moved up including Fox who dashed home to notch the second run of the frame.
Frankiw stepped into the box with one out and Hudak standing at third and Nick Ott, a pinch-runner for Kane, representing the winning run at second base. Frankiw lashed a Dybas offering close to the foul line in left, deep enough for Ott to be waved home by third-base coach Tim McLean.
The throw from Fisher's Bryant Moore was on time but to the left of home plate allowing Ott to slip by the sweeping tag of a diving Flemister who made contact with Ott but wasn't able to hold onto the ball, allowing the game-winner to cross the plate.
Gerard (1-0) earned the win with his one inning of solid work on the mound and as the pitcher of record when the Fords erased their deficit. Dybas (1-1) took the loss for St. John Fisher surrendering four runs, three earned, on three Haverford hits and a walk over one-third of an inning.
The opener (box score) was far less dramatic as Haverford starting pitcher Tommy Bergjans and reliever Kevin Goff combined to shut out Fisher allowing only a total of four hits and four walks while fanning seven Cardinals. Bergjans (4-0) pitched into the seventh and earned the win with Goff recording the final seven outs to earn the save, his first of the year.
Haverford supplied Bergjans with a lead in the fourth when Nick Miranda led off the inning with a walk then stole second base. Liscovitz doubled to left-center to score Miranda then Hudak, after Cardinals starter Sean Badger induced Fox into a foul pop-up for the first out, doubled to the same spot bringing Liscovitz home for a 2-0 advantage.
The Fords added an unearned run in the seventh but the two in the fourth were all Bergjans and Goff needed in the victory that broke the program record for season-opening wins, surpassing the 10-win start that the 2011 team produced.
Haverford continues its season Tuesday afternoon with another non-conference outing, welcoming Wesley College to Kannerstein Field for a single game beginning at 3:30 p.m.