HAVERFORD, Pa. – Not all wins are pretty, but another notch in the win column is all that's important and the 13th-ranked Haverford College baseball team added to its season-opening win streak Wednesday afternoon by downing visiting Wesley College, 11-8, in a non-conference contest that included nine errors and nine unearned runs.
The Fords' victory on a chilly day at Kannerstein Field pushes the win streak to 13 games without a loss while Wesley drops to 13-6.
The initial big inning for Haverford came in the fourth when it was able to score four unearned runs off Wesley starting pitcher Zach Stuart. Tied at 2-2 heading into the bottom of the frame, the Fords used a combination of two hits, a sacrifice fly, one hit batter and three Wolverine errors to plate four runs and take a 6-2 lead into the fifth.
Wesley equaled the Fords' output in the top of the fifth scoring four times but netting three of the runs after a two-out error that would have ended the inning.
Another unearned run in the bottom of the six gave Haverford the lead but only briefly as Wesley countered with a run in their half of the seventh behind an RBI single from Sam Farnell.
Haverford's second big inning came in the bottom of the seventh, but this time each of the runs came the honest way as Luke Frankiw, William Bannard, Nick Miranda, Mike Tentilucci and Alex Hudak contributed singles to bring home four runs off a pair of Wolverine pitchers to put the game out of reach.
Wesley did make some noise in the top of the eighth with a two-out solo home run from Trevor Mears but reliever Max Gerard, who had come on for Haverford starter Brett Cohen to start the fourth, silenced the threat inducing a long, fly ball to Miranda in center field to end the inning.
Kevin Goff came in for Gerard, who earned the win to push his early-season record to 3-0, to begin the ninth and earned the save, his second, by setting the side down in order to preserve the Fords' win streak.
Bannard and Miranda keyed much of the action for Haverford from the top of the order. Bannard finished with a 2-for-4 day, collected an RBI, stole a base and scored twice. Miranda was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, stole three bases and scored four runs. Frankiw also had a multi-hit day for the Fords with a pair of singles.
Gerard threw five innings of relief work in earning the win, surrendering three earned and three unearned runs off of eight Wolverine hits. Goff's ninth was perfect and included a strikeout.
Wesley's Andrew Cooper (2-1) took the loss after coming on for Stuart to start the fifth. Cooper gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits and three strikeouts over 2.1 innings on the mound. Stuart's line included six runs off four Haverford hits, but only one of the runs he allowed was earned.
The Fords head right back into action without a rest day, heading to Reading, Pa., on Thursday afternoon for a non-conference game at Penn State-Berks.
Haverford's Centennial Conference opener comes on Saturday when No. 17 Johns Hopkins University visits Kannerstein for a double-header that starts at 12:30 p.m.