Slug fest turns Fords' way on pair of big innings

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Tuesday's Centennial Conference baseball game was heavy on scoring as 23rd-ranked Haverford College slugged out a 17-9 win over host Muhlenberg College at Cedarcreek Field. Nick Ott's first collegiate home run was the big knock in the game for the Fords as it came with the bases jammed in a five-run sixth inning.

Haverford (19-3, 4-3 CC) extends its current win streak to five with the road victory over the Mules (14-12, 2-5). The Fords opened the season with a program-record 14-game win streak.

Ott's one-out blast to left in the sixth followed a pair of walks to the Fords' first two batters in the inning, Alex Hudak and Matt Liscovitz, with Marley Randazzo greeting a new pitcher with a single to left field to load the bags.

Phillip Balseca had come on to take over for Muhlenberg's Nick Gies after he issued the walks to Hudak and Liscovitz. Balseca did induce an infield pop-up from Mike Tentilucci, but made Ott's at-bat memorable as the freshman catcher tagged a Balseca offering for a grand slam that pushed Haverford to a 14-8 advantage.

Casey Fox, who led off the second inning with a solo home run off Mules starter Christian Ferlan, singled to left off Balseca later in the sixth bringing home William Bannard for the final run of the frame.

Ott's lead-off double in the fifth eventually turned into one run during the middle stretch of Tuesday's game, and his lead-off single in the eighth initiated a two-run inning for the Fords who pounded out 20 hits against five Muhlenberg pitchers.

Haverford jumped on the Mules' Ferlan with the game's first at-bat as Bannard singled to right. Five more singles, a fielding error and a fielder's choice RBI from Bannard turned the opening turn at the plate for the Fords into a 6-0 lead.

Muhlenberg fought back with runs in the next four innings off Haverford starter Kevin Goff, but four of the eight runs the Mules scored were unearned.

The Fords never trailed Tuesday, despite the Mules' insistence at making it a game.

Clay Bloszies took over for Goff in the fourth after the Haverford starter surrendered two solo home runs. Bloszies (1-0) earned the win, his first collegiate victory, after throwing four and a third innings of relief and allowing one unearned run off five hits without a walk while fanning a pair.

Patrick Falkoff closed out the game on the mound for Haverford getting the final four outs.

Ott finished the day just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. He collected four hits and four RBIs, and scored three runs. Fox also put together a strong day at the plate with a 3-for-5 outing that produced four RBIs and three runs scored.

Nick Miranda and Bannard each added four hits in the powerful attack. Both players scored a pair of runs while Miranda also managed his team-leading 20th stolen base.

Ferlan (1-3) took the loss for Muhlenberg, lasting four innings and surrendering nine runs, two were unearned, off nine hits and a walk. He struck out two.

Haverford steps out of conference action Wednesday with a trip to Immaculata University for a non-league game, but welcomes Muhlenberg to Kannerstein Field on Friday afternoon for the back end of the split-date, Centennial doubleheader with the Mules.