MADISON, N.J. – The Haverford College baseball team (7-6) dropped a pair of tight scheduled seven-inning battles with Drew (7-6) on Saturday afternoon at Doc Young Field, falling 4-2 in the first game of a doubleheader before Drew rallied for a 4-3 victory in eight innings in game two. Stellar pitching on both sides paved the way for some late game dramatics as the hosts eventually prevailed.
Drew 4, Haverford 2
In game one, Haverford sent sophomore Ryan Giovenco (0-2) to the mound for a showdown with Pete Violante (1-0). Drew struck first, plating a pair of runs in the first inning. Jayson Mitch singled with one out, and promptly stole second. After a walk to Zach Lipshitz, Matthew Lange doubled and Jon Cocchio singled to put the Rangers ahead 2-0 after the first frame. Drew added to its advantage, taking a 4-0 lead as Mitch belted a home run in the second inning.
Eric Kopczynski came out of the bullpen, settling things down for Haverford with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, striking out three while allowing four hits. The relief effort from the first year allowed the Fords to remain within striking distance, as Haverford pulled closer with a sixth-inning rally. Senior Ethan Lee-Tyson reached on an error and junior Luke Wallis followed with a double into the left-center field gap to plate an unearned run, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Wallis has now reached base in each of Haverford's 13 games this season. After Wallis moved to third on a wild pitch, junior Owen Plambeck lifted a sacrifice fly into left field as Haverford found itself down just two at 4-2 entering the final frame.
The Fords put a pair of runners on in the seventh, with designs of sending the game to extra innings, but Violante struck out the final two batters he faced to seal a complete game victory. Violante struck out seven, allowing just four hits and no earned runs to earn the win for Drew.
Wallis paced Haverford with a pair of hits, his sixth multi-hit contest of 2019.
Drew 4, Haverford 3 (8)
In the second game of the day, the Fords got on the scoreboard first as senior Jared Turner launched a home run to left field, the first round-tripper of his career. The run would be the only difference in the first four frames, as sophomore Nathan Bass got the ball for the Fords and denied the Rangers with six strikeouts in his first four innings of work. Opposing starter Jeff Serin of Drew was equally effective, as he tossed seven innings, striking out 13 batters while scattering eight hits and two earned runs.
The Fords added some insurance to their slim lead in the fifth, as junior Will Karp reached on an infield single and stole second. Lee-Tyson then knocked home Karp, extending Haverford's advantage to 2-0. Lee-Tyson then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Plambeck later found a hole with a well-placed single through the right side, allowing Lee-Tyson to score for a 3-0 advantage.
Bass continued to twirl a gem, allowing just three hits and one earned run in his six innings of work, striking out a career-best nine while walking four Rangers.
The sophomore came out for the seventh, but Cole Bosch singled before Haverford made the move to the bullpen for Tom Phillips (0-1), who started the game as the designated hitter. Shane Benson and Max Felsenstein singled to load the bases, but Phillips induced a pair of quick pop ups to put Haverford on the verge of victory as Phillips sought a save for the second consecutive day.
Drew moved closer, cutting the lead to 3-1 as Cocchio was hit by a pitch to plate a run. The next batter Lange, poked a single into center field to tie the score. Eric DiPietro followed with a single, but a strong throw from Harrison Burns sent the game into extra innings as Cocchio was called out attempting to score the winning run from second.
Burns continued an impressive stint off the bench as he doubled down the left field line with two down in the eighth, but Davis Fouts (1-1) was able to work out of the jam to send Drew to its half of the inning with the score deadlocked at 3-3. In the Drew eighth, Brian Dagostino singled through the left side, and Felsenstein walked with two down, moving Dagostino into scoring position. Mitch then placed a ball through the right side, plating Dagostino for the come-from-behind, walk-off victory for the Rangers.
Karp and Lee-Tyson each had two-hit contests for Haverford in the late afternoon contest.
Haverford now returns to action with a busy week on tap to wrap up the month of March. Haverford opens up a five-game week with a contest at No. 6 Rowan on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.), before heading out to Arcadia on Wednesday for a 3:30 p.m. first pitch. Haverford then hosts TCNJ on Thursday (3:30 p.m.) and welcomes in conference foe Gettysburg to Kannerstein Field on Saturday for a Centennial Conference doubleheader beginning at noon.