Rally falls short as Main Line match-up tilts Eastern's way

HAVERFORD, Pa. - Nick Miranda scored four times and Sam Kane drove in three runs during Haverford College's game-long rally against visiting Eastern University, but the Fords weren't able to complete the come-back against the Eagles falling 11-9 in non-conference baseball action Wednesday at Kannerstein Field.

Eastern (15-13) scored five runs in the top of the first inning off Haveford (21-7) starting pitcher Grant Finn, then added two more in the third to take a seven-run advantage over the home-standing Fords.

The long road back started in the bottom of the third when lead-off singles from Miranda and Casey Fox turned into the Fords' first runs of the game. After a double steal by the pair to put runners at second and third for Kane, he lashed a two-out, two-RBI single through the right side which easily scored the base runners.

The deficit grew to seven again in the top of the fourth when the Eagles pushed two across the plate on a home run from Greg DeSarro off reliever George Hatamiya who had come in relief of Finn to start the inning. DeSarro also registered a big knock in the first, pounding a Finn offering over the right-field scoreboard for a solo shot.

Hatamiya held the Eastern bats at bay in the fifth but gave way to Jonny Black at the beginning of the next inning. Black had an effective two innings of work on the mound for the Fords surrendering just one hit and a walk while fanning one.

The stop-gap in the middle of the game allowed the Haverford bats to heat back up as the five-run deficit was trimmed by one in the sixth and by two more in the seventh, pulling the Fords closer at 9-7 after seven innings.

Though the early inning runs surrendered by the Fords were damaging, two Eastern runs, including one unearned run, in the top of the eighth proved fateful on the day.

Haverford opened the ninth, trailing 11-7, with a Miranda walk followed by a single through the right side by Fox which moved Miranda to second.

Justin Coulter worked Anthony Messina, the fifth Eagle pitcher on the day, for a walk to load the bases for Alex Hudak who singled through the right side to push Miranda and Fox home, and move Coulter into scoring position at third base.

Messina struck out the next batter for the first out of the inning then induced a double-play grounder to end the lengthy Haverford rally.

Miranda, in the lead-off spot, reached base four times on the day with a a pair of singles and two walks, scored each time, and added two stolen bases. Hitting behind him, Fox was 4-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored. He also added a stolen base. Kane finished with a team-high three RBIs off a pair of singles and two walks.

Finn (0-1) took the loss for Haverford lasting three innings and giving up seven runs off six hits and four walks while striking out three.

Barry Jost (2-0) earned the win for the Eagles as the beneficiary of four Eastern home runs in the contest. Jost went five innings and surrendered four runs off 11 hits and a walk.

Haverford out hit the Eagles by a 17-11 count, but all 17 hits by the Fords were singles which wasn't enough to overcome Eastern's four homers.

Haverford steps back into Centennial Conference action for its next two outings, traveling to Collegeville, Pa., on Friday to take on Ursinus College in a single game, then welcoming Washington College to Kannerstein on Saturday for a doubleheader that begins at 12:30 p.m.