HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College baseball team (15-14, 8-4 CC) rallied past No. 23 Swarthmore (17-11, 5-7 CC) on Thursday afternoon at Kannerstein Field, scoring nine unanswered runs during its final three times at-bat for a 9-4 triumph over the rival Garnet. The Fords posted back-to-back four-run rallies in the sixth and seventh innings before adding a single run in the eighth to come away with the crucial conference victory. With today's result, Haverford now holds a 7-5 lead in the Hood Trophy standings with six sports yet to be decided.
The first five hitters in the Haverford order each had two-hit days, while senior Sam Partee, batting out of the seventh slot, also laced a pair of hits and added an RBI. Sophomore Andrew Johnson (6-0) picked up the win in relief as he twirled three innings, allowing one earned run and four hits before junior Brandon Jenkins pitched two hitless innings to shut down any thoughts of a Swarthmore comeback.
The Garnet appeared to be headed for an offensive outburst of their own in the early goings as Cole Beeker and Jackson Roberts connected on back-to-back homers in the first inning. Martin Matsumura responded from that point, responding with four innings of four-hit baseball, allowing just the two earned runs while striking out a pair. Beeker later doubled home a run in the fifth and Conor Elliott added a sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Swarthmore entered the final third of the game with a 4-0 lead over the Fords.
Junior Will Karp reached on an infield single and stole second to lead off the Haverford half of the sixth. Senior Ethan Lee-Tyson then drilled a single into center, plating a run. Junior Harrison Burns singled, moving Lee-Tyson to third while taking an extra base on the throw as Haverford had two in scoring position with no out for junior Luke Wallis. Wallis crushed a Jack Corkery pitch into deep left field before Charles Levitt made a highway robbery of a catch, going well over the left field fence to bring the ball back as Wallis was forced to settle for a sacrifice fly.
Undaunted, the Fords kept the pressure up against reliever Zach Camp. Junior Owen Plambeck laid down a perfectly placed bunt to score a charging Burns from third base, and with two down, Partee got into the action with a stinging hit down the left field line to plate Plambeck, tying the score at 4-4.
After Johnson responded with a calm seventh inning, the Fords went right back to work in their half of the frame. With one down, Karp again started things up with a single. Lee-Tyson roped a double into left, putting two runners in scoring position for Burns. Burns delivered a single right up the middle to give Haverford a 6-4 lead as Karp and Lee-Tyson scored easily. After Wallis reached on an error, Plambeck scorched a double down the left field line, allowing Wallis and Burns to score for an 8-4 advantage.
Karp walked with one down in the eighth, as he reached for a third consecutive inning. Karp stole second and third, scoring as the Swarthmore defense was unable to corral a Lee-Tyson grounder that went for an RBI.
Plambeck paced Haverford with three runs batted in while Lee-Tyson and Burns each added two. Karp had three stolen bases on the day to run his Centennial-leading total to 22. The Haverford defense was crisp, playing error-free baseball and limiting the Garnet on the base paths.
Haverford now returns to action on Saturday, as the Fords will head to Lancaster, Pa. for a doubleheader against Franklin & Marshall (20-12, 7-5 CC) with a noon start time. Haverford will then return home for four home games next week, beginning with a Tuesday afternoon contest against Washington College (3:30 p.m.).