March 30, 2013

Quiet day at plate leads to end of win streak

HAVERFORD, Pa. – All win streaks eventually come to an end and the Haverford College baseball team's season-opening string of 14 victories did so on Saturday at Kannerstein Field as the 13th-ranked Fords dropped both ends of a doubleheader, 8-0 and 12-1, to visiting and 17th-ranked Johns Hopkins University in the Centennial Conference opener for each team.

Haverford (14-2, 0-2 CC) had a quiet day at the plate compiling a total of six hits against Hopkins (16-2, 2-0) pitching in the two games.

The opener (box score) saw starting pitcher Patrick Falkoff's few mistakes prove costly as the Blue Jays generated their first three runs on four hits. A solo shot over the left field fence in the second inning was the game's first run and a two-run shot to the same spot in the fourth, both from Hopkins' Chris Welhelm, pushed the lead to 3-0.

Consecutive singles and a two-RBI triple in the sixth -- only the second inning in which Falkoff surrendered multiple hits -- helped extend the Hopkins advantage, but the inability to get on track at the plate is what proved to be the bigger burden for the Fords.

Blue Jays starter Tyler Goldstein scattered three hits over his nine innings of work against the Fords who had threatened to score the first run of the game when William Bannard led the bottom of the first off with a walk, stole second, then moved to third on Nick Miranda's ground out to the right side. Bannard, however, was left stranded 90 feet from the plate and Haverford pushed only one more runner into scoring position the rest of the game.

Falkoff (1-1) suffered his first defeat of the season, allowing eight runs on nine hits with four walks while striking out two. Reliever Clay Bloszies came in for Falkoff with one out in the seventh and sat down eight of the 10 batters he faced in his two and two-thirds innings on the mound.

Goldstein (4-1) earned the complete game victory for the Blue Jays.

The nightcap saw Haverford struggle at the plate again as Hopkins starter Jacob Enterlin put down the Fords in order the first two innings before surrendering a sharp single through the right side to the Fords' Luke Frankiw in the third. Nothing would come of the threat, though, and Enterlin followed with two more three-up, three-down innings.

Brett Cohen started Game 2 on the mound for Haverford and had to work hard in the first inning but eventually closed out the frame without allowing a run. He registered a pair of outs in the second before a Hopkins double and a walk added excitement to the second inning, but Cohen induced Matt Ricci into a fly out to right fielder Matt Liscovitz to end that soft threat.

Hopkins finally got to Cohen in the third when the Blue Jays plated three runs on one mistake pitch, a fence-clearing shot to left by clean-up hitter Jeff Lynch with a pair of runners aboard via two walks. Cohen pitched a scoreless fourth then gave way to reliever Kevin Goff at the start of the fifth frame.

Goff worked through three unenventful innings then handed the ball to George Hatamiya to start the eighth.

Hatamiya picked up the initial out of the inning against the first batter he faced but was tagged with seven runs, although five were unearned, in a nine-run inning which put the game away for the Blue Jays.

Enterlin (4-0) gave up an unearned run in the seventh, when Casey Fox singled then later scored on an Alex Hudak ground out to the right side, but earned the win surrendering just the one run against three hits, no walks and nine strikeouts. Cohen (0-1) took the loss for the Fords.

Haverford continues with Centennial play in its next game, Tuesday afternoon at Swarthmore College, then welcomes Moravian College to Kannerstein on Wednesday for a non-conference match-up. Friday brings Swarthmore to campus to complete the split-date two-game set against the Garnet and then the Fords head to Carlisle, Pa., on Saturday to take on Centennial foe Dickinson College in a doubleheader.