COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Haverford College baseball team (13-11, 6-2 CC) took a come-from-behind victory over host Ursinus (13-12, 3-5 CC) on a soggy Friday afternoon at Thomas Field, using a seventh-inning rally against the Bears bullpen to prevail with a 6-5 victory. Haverford swept a second-straight Centennial Conference home-and-home series with the win. Ursinus rallied in the ninth, putting the winning run in scoring position, but junior lefty Brandon Jenkins shut the door for his second save of the season in as many chances.
The Fords sent first-year lefty Martin Matsumura to the hill, while Ursinus countered with starter Nick DeFeo. Haverford struck for two unearned runs off DeFeo in the top of the first. Junior Will Karp wasted no time extending his hitting streak to 12 games with a leadoff single. Senior Ethan Lee-Tyson then singled and advanced to third on a pair of Ursinus errors. The miscues allowed Karp to score for the first run of the contest. Junior Harrison Burns drilled a single to center, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, plating Lee-Tyson as Haverford took an early 2-0 lead before an out had been recorded in the ballgame.
Ursinus grabbed a run back against Matsumura in the second. Will Peiffer singled and Eric Gross walked, setting the stage for Tom Jacobs to connect on a single through the left side, plating a run for the host Bears and trimming the Haverford lead to just 2-1. Matsumura responded by getting Mike Stanziale to strike out swinging, ending the threat with his fourth strikeout of the afternoon.
Doubles from Peiffer and Jacobs in the fourth inning spelled the end of the day for Matsumura, as Ursinus tied the contest at 2-2. Matsumura had a valiant start, striking out a career-best six in his 3.1 innings of work, allowing five hits and walking a pair of Bears.
Ursinus pushed the go-ahead run across against sophomore reliever Andrew Johnson in the fifth, as Carter Usowski came up in a bases-loaded, no-out situation and lifted a sacrifice fly to Lee-Tyson in center for a 3-2 lead. Johnson worked craftily to limit the damage from that point, silencing the hot bats of Peiffer and Jacobs with a strikeout and fly out to end the frame.
Karp doubled to lead off the seventh against new Ursinus pitcher Andrew Hartman, and Lee-Tyson was hit by a pitch. Burns then laid down a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt, putting a pair in scoring position with one down. Junior Luke Wallis walked, and the Bears went to the bullpen for Matt Schmitz with the bases loaded. Junior Owen Plambeck ripped a two-RBI double against the new hurler, and first-year Zach Landry followed with a two-RBI double of his own as Haverford quickly put up a four-spot in the frame, taking a 6-3 lead as Schmitz's day was done after just five pitches.
The hosts mounted a rally in their half of the seventh, loading the bases with one out for Gross. Gross grounded into a fielder's choice, collecting an RBI but putting Johnson on the brink of escaping further trouble. The righty then responded in a major way, striking out Jacobs to send the Fords back to the bat rack up by two at 6-4.
In the eighth, Ursinus had yet another shot to crawl back even, with senior Tom Phillips working out of a jam that saw the Bears put three on base in the frame. Phillips picked off pinch runner Alex Soriano from second base, a crucial out to stem the tide of a rallying Ursinus offense. In the ninth, the first two Bears reached on a hit batsman and a walk before Haverford called on Jenkins. Jenkins made a fantastic play to get the first out of the inning, getting the lead runner on a bunt attempt from Gross. After Jacobs grounded out, putting a pair in scoring position, Jenkins walked the next two hitters to plate a run for Ursinus and narrow the Haverford margin to just one at 6-5.
The junior stayed composed with the bases again loaded, and came up huge in the game's final confrontation, getting Jerry Scavone to strike out swinging on a high fastball, securing the series sweep for Haverford.
Lee-Tyson pulled to 189 career hits with two singles in the contest, putting the senior within two of tying Charlie Carluccio '11 for the all-time Haverford career hits record of 191. Karp notched his fourth three-hit game of the season, and his 12th multi-hit campaign at the top of the lineup to continue what has been a scorching start to conference play. The junior is now slashing .543/.600/.743 with 19 hits, 16 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in conference games.
Lee-Tyson, Plambeck, and senior Sam Partee all also added multi-hit contests. Wallis extended his reached-base streak to 24 games to begin the season.
The Fords spring right back into action tomorrow, welcoming in No. 16 Johns Hopkins (20-7, 6-2 CC) to campus for a crucial Centennial Conference doubleheader. The first pitch of game one is slated for noon on Kannerstein Field.