Coulter, Hudak lead at the plate, but Fords suffer setback against Mighty Macs
IMMACULATA, Pa. – Alex Hudak and Justin Coulter teamed up to spark the offense, but Haverford College's 23rd-ranked baseball team suffered a set back Wednesday afternoon after host Immaculata University rallied from a three-run deficit with four runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 7-6 non-conference victory over the Fords at IU Baseball Field.
The loss ended a five-game win streak that Haverford (19-4) brought into the contest against the Mighty Macs (11-12).
Hudak's RBIs came late in Wednesday's game as he knocked in Nick Miranda in the seventh with a triple to center field, then singled home William Bannard with what appeared to be an insurance run in the top of the ninth for a 6-3 Haverford advantage.
Coulter doubled into the gap in left-center field in the third to bring Hudak all the way around from first base, then singled up the middle in the seventh after Hudak's triple for another RBI.
Immaculata got on the board first with a sacrifice fly to center that allowed Robert Wallace to trot home for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
Haverford starting pitcher John Miraglia pitched well enough to earn the win Wednesday, surrendering just three runs on eight hits without a walk while fanning seven over seven innings of work. His best inning was his toughest when in the sixth he escaped a bases-loaded jam with no outs.
He earned revenge on Wallace with a strikeout, then induced Joe DiGiamimo into a short chopper to third base where Casey Fox easily fielded the grounder and fired home for the force out. Miraglia then got T.J. Warner to loft an offering into short right where Matt Liscovitz was able to run under the fly ball for the third out.
The Fords would not fare as well in the bottom of the ninth when a few close calls fell in the Mighty Macs' favor and allowed the inning to lengthen until Matt Hardy's single through the right side brought home the final two runs of the four-run frame to cap the home team's come back.
George Hatamiya relieved Miraglia to start the eighth and retired the side, but he opened the ninth by surrendering three straight singles which forced a pitching change. Max Gerard came on for Hatamiya with the bases loaded and no outs but wasn't able to stem the tide and suffered his first loss of the year (4-1) allowing two hits and one unearned run.
Coulter finished with a 3-for-3, two-RBI day while Hudak was 2-for-3, collected two RBIs and scored twice. Miranda also had a multi-hit game for the Fords with a pair of singles. The loss dampened the excitement of Sam Kane's first collegiate home run, a solo shot over the left field fence to lead off the top of the fourth.
Haverford will attempt to begin a new win streak on Friday when Muhlenberg College comes to Kannerstein Field for a Centennial Conference match-up that starts at 3:30 p.m. The Fords and Mules engaged in a slug fest Tuesday in Allentown, Pa., with Haverford bringing home a 17-9 victory.