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Baseball Dispatches No. 16 TCNJ in Home Opener, 7-3

Tom Phillips
Tom Phillips
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HAVERFORD, Pa.  – In the first game of the season at Kannerstein Field, the Haverford College baseball team rode the momentum of friendly confines to a 7-3 victory over 16th-ranked TCNJ. Haverford heads into conference play with a 9-7 record while TCNJ falls to 10-5 overall in 2017.

The Fords struck for three in the bottom of the second against TCNJ starter Brandon Zachary (1-2). Ben Furlong led off the inning with a walk and promptly stole second base. Harrison Burns took a walk and Matt Goss was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no out. Will Karp punched a single to center field to score Furlong and Thomas Vollaro followed with a single of his own for a 2-0 Haverford lead.

Ethan Lee-Tyson reached on an infield single, a dribbler that died in front of the third base bag, scoring Goss. Karp was thrown out at home trying to stretch the lead further, but Haverford took a 3-0 advantage early.

The Fords added a pair in the bottom of the third as Sam Partee rocketed a homer to left field, his second of the season, for a 4-0 lead. With two down, Harrison Burns extended his hitting streak to nine consecutive games and stole second base. The next batter, Matt Goss, reached on an error by the first baseman and advanced to second as Burns scored for a 5-0 Haverford advantage.

Austin Lindsay homered with one out in the top of the fourth, but Tom Phillips (1-2) worked around the jolt, striking out a pair in the frame to hold the Lions to just the one run.

Phillips held the Lions at bay on the mound all afternoon, striking out three and allowing just five hits and one earned run over six frames. 

TCNJ would threaten against reliever Austin Castellanos, as pinch hitter Ryan Fisher singled and Mike Follet delivered a double to right center, scoring Fischer. Ben Varone was robbed of extra bases by an outstanding catch in center field from Vollaro, as the senior went full extension to keep Varone from clearing the bases. The runner from third scored on a sacrifice fly, but the momentum stayed in the Fords dugout as a strike out and a fly out ended the frame at 7-3 in favor of the hosts.

Castellanos, John Masella and Patrick O'Shea combined for the final three innings, with each reliever striking out a batter to seal the home win.

Haverford had five hitters with multi-hit games including the first four hitters in the order. Lee-Tyson, Spencer Sohmer, Ben Verducci, Partee and Karp each recorded a pair of hits. Zachary Shindler was the only Lion with a multi-hit game.

Haverford is slated to return to action on Saturday, April 1 with a Centennial Conference opening doubleheader at 12:30 p.m against McDaniel.