March 28, 2013

Fords run wild in win over Penn State-Berks

READING, Pa. – The green light was on from the start of Thursday's game at Hintz Athletic Field where the 13th-ranked Haverford College baseball team set a program record with 15 stolen bases during its 7-3 non-conference victory over host Penn State-Berks.

The win improves the Fords' record to 14-0 while Berks drops to 4-10. Each Haverford victory extends a record-setting win streak to start off the 2013 season. The previous best start was a 10-0 record by the 2011 squad.

The green light was burning beginning with the first batter of the game Thursday after William Bannard reached on an error by the Nittany Lions' shortstop. Bannard stole second and third and then came home for the game's opening run on Justin Coulter's foul pop-up that was deep enough down the first-base line to allow Bannard to tag up and cross the plate for a 1-0 Haverford lead.

The Fords' next run was one of the few on the day that didn't involve a base theft as Nick Miranda's two-out double led to the second Haverford run when Mike Tentilucci, pinch-hitting for Coulter, followed up with a single through the left side bringing Miranda home.

Two more runs were added to the cushion in the fourth, keyed by Alex Hudak's lead-off single up the middle, a Hudak steal, and singles from Nick Ott, Luke Frankiw and Bannard. Ott registered one of the record-setting steals in the inning which included an RBI bunt single from Frankiw.

Starting Haverford pitcher Kyle Waney had received enough run support through the opening innings, allowing just three base runners over four innings on the mound, but the Fords added another crooked number to the scoreboard in the top of the fifth.

Tentilucci, Casey Fox, Hudak and Matt Liscovitz started the frame off with singles and that quartet's five stolen bases during the inning helped push the score to 7-0 with three more runs.

Berks finally got on the board in the home half of the fifth as Waney suffered through his only difficult inning, surrendering a two-out single to Kyle Rissmiller who came around to score on Christian Marcin's double down the left-field line.

Waney pitched two more innings, giving up an unearned run in the seventh, before giving way to relief help from Clay Bloszies to start the eighth. Bloszies also fell victim to an unearned run, in the eighth, but ended that threat quickly and then sat down the side in order to close out the ninth.

The solid, seven-inning outing by Waney earned the Haverford right-hander the win (2-0). He gave up one earned and one unearned run on five Penn State hits and a walk while fanning six. The only blemishes for Bloszies were the double and unearned run in the eighth as he didn't walk a batter and struck out one Nittany Lion.

Bannard and Tentilucci each closed out the day with four stolen bases, falling one shy of the program record (5) set by Dean Lagonosky in a game during the 2006 season.

Berks starting pitcher Elias Manzueta (0-1) took the loss after giving up all seven runs, one was unearned, over four-plus innings of work.

Haverford heads into Centennial Conference action with its next game Saturday afternoon when Johns Hopkins University, ranked 17th in the country, visits the Fords for a league-opening doubleheader starting at 12:30 p.m.