GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Shortstop William Bannard posted a 3-for-4 day for Haverford College in the opening game of the 2013 Centennial Conference baseball tournament but he and the Fords dropped a 5-3 decision to host Gettysburg College at Kirchoff Field on Friday afternoon.
Haverford (27-10) heads to Baltimore for the conclusion of the double-elimination tournament and will play host and sixth-ranked Johns Hopkins University on Saturday morning. The top-seeded Blue Jays -- losers to Franklin & Marshall College by a 3-0 score on Friday -- and the third-seeded Fords will square off in an elimination game at 9 a.m.
Friday's game at Gettysburg was nearly another come back for a Haverford squad that has a few under its belt this spring, including a 5-4 win over visiting Neumann University in the final game of the regular season on Tuesday afternoon.
The Fords trailed 5-1 entering the seventh inning Friday afternoon but put together a rally against Bullets starting pitcher Ryan Taylor.
Bannard laced a one-out single into right-center field then stole second base to get the ball rolling for Haverford. He came around to score on Mike Tentilucci's single up the middle with Tentilucci advancing to second on the throw home in a failed attempt to nail Bannard at the plate.
Tentilucci advanced to third on Nick Miranda's ground out, then scored the second run in the inning when Fox blooped a single into the space between the right fielder and a quickly retreating second baseman. Fox stole second but was left at the bag when Taylor induced Justin Coulter into a fly out to left field that ended the inning.
The Fords had a runner at second in the eighth and runners at the corners in the ninth but were unable to bring them around to draw closer or pull even.
Miranda single-handedly scored the game's first run to give Haverford the early lead. He reached safely on a bunt single and continued on to second when the ill-advised throw sailed wide and out of play. He then stole third but was able to finish his route to home when the catcher's throw was off the mark and bounced into left field foul territory.
Gettysburg came back to take the lead off Haverford starter Jonny Black with two runs in the bottom of the third and added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Black loaded the bases in the fifth before handing the ball off to reliever Max Gerard who limited the Bullets to only one more run and a 5-1 advantage.
Black (0-1) suffered the loss throwing three and one-third innings and surrendering four runs off just three hits and a walk. Gerard threw an effective 2.2 innings giving up just the one run in the fifth and finishing his stay on the mound allowing four hits and a pair of walks. Clay Bloszies finished the game for Haverford pitching a pair of scoreless innings while striking out a pair.
Taylor (6-3) earned the complete-game win for Gettysburg giving up three runs, one was unearned, off 10 Haverford hits and a walk while fanning six.
Miranda finished with a pair of hits and two stolen bases in the loss.
Saturday's game against Hopkins is a re-match of the Fords' opening game of the conference portion of the 2013 schedule. The visiting Blue Jays came to Kannerstein Field and stole a doubleheader sweep from the Fords to end a record-setting 14-0 start to the season by Haverford.