BALTIMORE, Md. – The Haverford College baseball team (20-19) won a pair of must-win contests on Saturday at Babb Field on the campus of Johns Hopkins to advance to the Centennial Conference Championship Sunday afternoon.
The Fords opened up the day with a 4-2 victory over Muhlenberg, before returning in the late afternoon to do battle with Franklin & Marshall, avenging an opening round loss on Thursday with a 8-5 victory in 10 innings. Senior Ethan Lee-Tyson knocked a pair of homers in the win over the Diplomats, tying the score at 5-5 before his three-run blast put Haverford ahead for good in extra innings.
The Fords now advance to face Johns Hopkins in the Centennial Conference final tomorrow at noon.
Haverford 4, Muhlenberg 2
In game one, Haverford sent sophomore Nathan Bass (4-2) to the hill against Matthew D'Ambrosia (5-4). Haverford struck the Muhlenberg hurler for a pair of runs before Muhlenberg recorded an out. Junior Will Karp was hit by a pitch, and promptly stole second and third on consecutive offerings. Lee-Tyson then walked, and junior Harrison Burns later punched a single through the right side of the infield to plate the pair for a 2-0 lead.
Bass cruised from there, as he ran into his first real tough spot of trouble in the fifth as Cameron Miller led off the frame with a home run, cutting the Haverford lead to 2-1. The Fords added their third run of the contest in the seventh, as Burns again notched an RBI single to center field. Muhlenberg tacked on an unearned run in the eighth to pull back within one, but Sam Partee connected on an eighth-inning homer to right field, extending the Haverford lead out to 4-2 and providing a much needed insurance run.
In the ninth, sophomore Andrew Johnson worked around a one-out single to capture his first save of the season.
Burns finished with three hits and three RBI to pace the Haverford attack offensively in the morning contest. Haverford ran rampant on the basepaths against the Mules, with Karp, Lee-Tyson, and Burns each stealing multiple bases in the triumph. Bass finished with 5.1 innings pitched, allowing just five hits and one earned run. Bass walked two and struck out two on 87 pitches. Junior Brandon Jenkins pitched 1.2 innings of one-hit relief, while Johnson twirled the final two frames, allowing just one hit.
D'Ambrosia had an outstanding start in a losing effort for the Mules, striking out 11 while allowing just five hits and two walks, while surrendering two earned runs.
Haverford 8, Franklin & Marshall 5
In game two, first-year Martin Matsumura got the ball for the Fords, opposing Matt Devlin of Franklin & Marshall.
The Fords put up a first-inning run as Karp was hit by a pitch to begin the contest and Burns followed with a single. Junior Luke Wallis then opened the scoring with a sacrifice bunt to plate Karp for a 1-0 lead.
Franklin & Marshall added an unearned run, but Haverford went back to work in the third as six straight Haverford hitters reached on singles with two out in the frame. In the stretch, junior Owen Plambeck, first-year Zach Landry, and first-year Ryan Schwartz each tallied RBI hits as Haverford went ahead 4-2 following the offensive flurry.
Franklin & Marshall tied the game in their half of the third, with Dan Marano roping an RBI single into right field. Matthew Kann homered to lead off the F&M sixth, and suddenly the Fords trailed for the first time on the day. The homer also spelled the end of the day for Matsumura, who came up huge for the Fords in the longest start of his career.
Matsumura tossed five innings, allowing just three hits while walking three and striking out two. Junior Dylan Livingston (2-2) took over on the hill in the sixth, and quickly retired the Diplomats to send Haverford back to the bats down by one.
The Franklin & Marshall lead would prove to be short-lived, as Lee-Tyson crushed a Devlin pitch into deep left field to lead off the seventh. The dramatic jolt changed the tenor of the contest. From that point, the intensity of the game ratcheted up, with Devlin leaving the contest after eight full innings and ceding to his bullpen.
Don DiLoreto took over on the mound in the ninth, and Lee-Tyson swatted a leadoff double into right field. After Burns was hit by a pitch, as sacrifice bunt by Wallis moved a pair into scoring position with just one out. The Diplomats intentionally walked Plambeck, and DiLoreto craftily worked out of trouble from that point, as he was able to strand the bases loaded.
Livingston continued his masterful relief turn in the bottom of the inning, recording a perfect frame, sending the game to extra innings.
The top of the 10th again started in a promising fashion for Haverford. With one down, senior Nick Perez coaxed a walk and Karp followed with a single through the hole on the left side of the infield. With two down, the stage was all set for Lee-Tyson. The senior captain delivered yet again, as he unleashed a towering home run to left center for his third extra base hit in as many at-bats. Lee-Tyson's team-leading fifth homer of the season absolutely electrified the Haverford dugout, as the entire team came out to mob their center fielder.
Taking the ball in the 10th for his fifth inning of work, Livingston worked around a two-out single to nail down the victory. Livingston was absolutely vital for the Fords, as he worked five innings, allowing just a single hit while keeping Franklin & Marshall off guard in some of the biggest moments of the entire season.
Lee-Tyson finished 3-for-6 with four RBI and two runs scored. Burns again tallied a multi-hit game, and finished the day with five hits in nine at-bats. Haverford went 9-of-9 in steal attempts on the day.
Haverford now advances to the Centennial Conference Championship for the first time since the 2016 campaign. The Fords will look to win two games on Saturday at No. 21 Johns Hopkins in order to hoist their fourth Centennial Conference trophy in the last eight seasons.
All the action from Baltimore will begin at 12 p.m. and fans are encouraged to follow @HCFords_BSB on Twitter for the latest potential weather-related schedule updates.