LANCASTER, Pa. – A three-run fifth inning propelled Haverford College past host Franklin & Marshall College on Tuesday afternoon in the Fords' 4-3 Centennial Conference baseball victory at Caplan Field.
Haverford (25-7, 10-5 CC) got on the board first with a run in the top of the third but the Diplomats (19-15, 10-5) answered with a pair of runs off starter Jonny Black in the home half of the inning.
F&M starting pitcher Alex Guerra squelched a Haverford threat in the fourth but wasn't able to escape unscathed in the next inning as the Fords sent nine batters to the plate while scoring three runs, chasing Guerra who gave way to Chris Mathewson to get the final out before more damage could be done.
Nick Miranda led the third off with a single up the middle then rolled into second on a wild pitch before Guerra walked Casey Fox. A sacrifice bunt from Justin Coulter moved the runners up a base and Alex Hudak's sacrifice fly to center moved them 90 feet farther as Miranda scored the tying run and Fox moved to third.
Matt Liscovitz -- who doubled home the tying run in the ninth yesterday at Ursinus College, then singled and eventually scored the winning run in the 11th -- singled up the middle off Guerra to bring Fox home for the second run in the inning. A Nick Ott single followed by a walk to George Hatamiya loaded the bags for William Bannard whose successful squeeze bunt scored Liscovitz and ended Guerra's day.
Mathewson allowed only a pair of batters to reach first base over the final four innings, but Haverford's relievers were just as good as Clay Bloszies and Kevin Goff limited the Diplomasts to just three base runners over the same span.
Bloszies came on for Black in the fifth after Aaron Gillette's one-out single. The first batter Bloszies faced, Alex Vescera, doubled to the gap in left-center field scoring Gillette. Vescera tried to stretch the hit into a triple but was gunned down on a relay throw from second baseman Mike Tentilucci.
An easy grounder to Tentilucci ended the frame and Bloszies pitched three more without incident before handing the ball off to Goff at the start of the ninth. Goff walked the first batter he faced but Brian Erb was erased in a run down after a snap throw from Ott, the Haverford catcher, down to first base caught Erb straying too far from the bag. Goff struck out the next batter for the second out then induced another easy grounder to Tentilucci to end the game.
Black threw four and one-third innings allowing three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out one. Bloszies (2-0) held the lead for the Fords and earned the win with three and two-thirds innings of work surrendering two hits and a walk. The save by Goff was his fifth of the season and second in a row after he closed out Monday's win at Ursinus.
Miranda reached safely three times on the day and scored twice, including the game's opening run on Coulter's single to right-center field.
The Diplomats visit Kannerstein Field on Friday afternoon to wrap up the two-game series between the two teams. Saturday brings a trip to Gettysburg, Pa., where the Fords will take on the Gettysburg College Bullets in a Centennial doubleheader that will close out the conference portion of the slate for both teams.
The Bullets (25-10, 11-4) are second in the conference standings and recently swept a pair of games against league leader and third-ranked Johns Hopkins University.