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Baseball Edged by Widener in Home Opener, 3-2

Brandon Jenkins
Brandon Jenkins

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College baseball team (6-4) was edged in its 2019 home opener, as Widener (6-10) escaped with a 3-2 victory on the first day of spring at Kannerstein Field. The Fords received an RBI single from Owen Plambeck in the first inning, while Ethan Lee-Tyson drilled an RBI double in the fifth frame. Brandon Jenkins provided admirable relief, tossing the final five innings of the contest, scattering just two hits and one walk.

Luke Duris (1-1) retired the first seven Pride batters that he faced, while Haverford went to work offensively against Andrew Jaffarian (1-0). Lee-Tyson singled through the right side with one down, and Luke Wallis then walked with two away. Plambeck followed by smashing a single into right field, plating Wallis for the first run of the contest. Widener struck back against Duris in the third as Dylan Morrissette and Brennan Taylor reached on consecutive singles.  The next hitter, leadoff man Matt Samson, singled into left center to plate Morissette. After Greg Elfreth walked, Stephen DeBellis launched a sacrifice fly to give Widener a 2-1 advantage.

In the fourth, Widener pushed another run across on an miscue as Nathan Valenta reached on a dropped third strike and Morissette singled through the right side ahead of an error on a steal attempt. Taylor attempted to plate an insurance run with a single, but a great throw from first year Ryan Schwartz to Sam Partee at the dish cut down Morrissette trying to score. 

From that point, Haverford cut the lead to just 3-2 in the fifth as Will Karp extended his on-base streak to begin the season to 10 games with a single up the middle, and Lee-Tyson followed with a booming double into deep center field, plating Karp easily from first. 

Haverford has designs on a comeback, with Jenkins twirling smooth innings to get Haverford back to the bat rack. Haverford had the momentum as Harrison Burns got on to begin the seventh, but he was erased on a double play. The Fords later put two runners on base in the ninth with one down, as Plambeck singled and Sam Partee walked against Pride hurler Dylan Peiffer, but Peiffer worked out of the jam to earn his first save of the season, inducing a foul out off the bat of Burns and striking out Zach Landry after a spirited battle to end the contest.

Lee-Tyson and Plambeck each had two hits for the Fords, while Morrissette had three to pace Widener. Duris went four innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out two. Jaffarian tossed five innings for the visitors, allowing five hits and two earned runs while walking a pair and striking out two. Kyle Laing threw three innings of one-hit relief for Widener.

Haverford now returns to action on Friday, taking on Kean at 3:30 p.m. in Union, N.J. Haverford will then head right back to the Garden State on Saturday for a weekend showdown with Drew in a doubleheader. First pitches are slated for noon and 3 p.m. in Madison, N.J.