HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College Baseball team (9-9, 2-0 CC) started the Centennial Conference campaign in stellar fashion, taking a doubleheader sweep of Gettysburg (11-9, 0-2 CC) on Saturday at Kannerstein Field. The Fords stormed past the Bullets 8-1 in the first game before scoring the first nine and holding on for the victory in a hard-earned, 11-7 decision in game two.
Haverford 8, Gettysburg 1
The first game of the day was keyed by an outstanding pitching performance from Haverford sophomore righty Nathan Bass (2-0). Bass kept the Gettysburg lineup at bay during the duration of his stint on the mound, striking out a career-best 12 batters in his seven innings of work while surrendering just three hits.
Bass began the game on a high note, striking out the side in the top of the first. Haverford supported their starter with an early run against Johnny Bray (1-1) , as Luke Wallis extended his reached-base streak to 17 games with an RBI single as part of a three-hit frame. After Bass worked around a one-out double in the second, Haverford extended its lead as Sam Partee drilled a single ahead of a home run from sophomore Garrett Melby. The Fords kept the line moving, with Harrison Burns later adding an RBI single for a 4-0 lead after two.
Haverford added two more in the third, as Owen Plambeck and Zach Landry began the inning with consecutive doubles ahead of back-to-back sacrifice flies off the bats of Nick Perez and Partee. The Fords grabbed two more runs in the sixth, with a Burns RBI single the highlight of a two-hit frame. With a 6-0 lead, Bass was able to cruise, retiring 10 in a row including four straight strikeouts. Brandon Jenkins took over in the eighth and struck out two in his first inning. In the ninth, Gettysburg struck for a last-ditch run with two down in the ninth as Joe Giovinco rapped an RBI single to reflect the 8-1 final score.
Bass has now lowered his ERA to just 0.89 and has struck out 33 in his 20.1 innings spread across four appearances this season. Burns (3-for-4) and Karp (3-for-5) each had three-hit days for the Fords in the early afternoon game. Melby connected on his first career homer in the contest.
Sean Murphy and Joe Giovinco each had two-hit games for the visiting Bullets.
Haverford 11, Gettysburg 7
In the late afternoon game, Haverford scored in the first five innings to cruise out to a 9-0 advantage after five full innings.
After sophomore Andrew Johnson (4-0) held Gettysburg scoreless in the first, Burns doubled against Gettysburg starter Erik Wortmann (2-2) in the bottom of the frame, plating Karp and Ethan-Lee Tyson. Haverford added two more in the second as Jared Turner keyed a two-run rally with a two-out double and Perez doubled in the third to plate Plambeck as the Haverford advantage reached 6-0. Ethan Lee-Tyson delivered a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and Karp notched a two-RBI single in the fifth as Haverford was seemingly in command up by nine.
Johnson twirled the first five innings of the contest, allowing just two hits, striking out three, and walking one, picking up his fourth victory of the season in the process.
Dylan Livingston ran into a spot of trouble in the sixth, as the first two Gettysburg hitters singled ahead of a walk to Murphy. Shane Manieri then drilled a grand slam, cutting the Haverford lead to just 9-4 and changing the tenor of the contest with one swing of the bat. An unearned run later cut the lead to just four, and Gettysburg scored against Eric Kopczynski in the seventh as a Ryan LaCoe double set up a sacrifice fly from Murphy. Suddenly Gettysburg was back within just three at 9-6. A Giovinco double in the eighth against Cole Bramhall cut the lead further to just 9-7, and Haverford then decided to hand the ball to Luke Duris to get out of the jam.
Duris was on the mound as Karp followed with a pair of plays that reminded everyone in attendance at Kannerstein Field why he was named the Gold Glove of the Year in the Centennial Conference following last season. Karp collected a grounder to short and unfurled a strong throw home to nab a runner at home plate for the second out of the inning, and followed that up with an impressive collect-and-throw on a deflected grounder to end the inning, allowing Haverford to head into the bottom of the inning clinging to a two-run lead.
The Fords grabbed insurance against Sean Dobbins in the eighth, as Burns singled with one out and stole second, setting the stage for back-to-back RBI hits from Wallis, who extended his on-base streak to 18 games to begin the season, and Plambeck, who split the left-center field gap for an 11-7 lead.
A determined Duris climbed the mound for the ninth, and struck out power-threat Manieri to begin the frame. After a one-out walk, Collin Short struck out in a pinch-hit appearance, and Mark Seibert grounded out to Perez at third to seal the save for Duris and the win for the Fords.
Four different Fords had multi-hit games in the late afternoon tilt, with Plambeck notching three to lead the way. Karp, Burns, and Plambeck each had multi-RBI contests. Ryan LaCoe had three hits in a losing effort for the visitors.
Haverford improves to 37-21 in the all-time series against the Bullets. The Fords now return to action on Tuesday, as the squad continues Centennial Conference play with a jaunt to Allentown to take on Muhlenberg. First pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m.