WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Haverford College baseball team dropped a doubleheader to host Catholic, a team receiving votes in the latest D3Baseballl.com poll. Haverford fell in a pair of one-run, seven inning games, conceding a 6-5 decision in the first contest and falling 3-2 in the second. The contests were played at the Washington Nationals Youth Academy. Haverford sits at 0-2 after its first day of competition in 2018 while Catholic is now 5-0 on the year.
In game one, Dylan Livingston (0-1) got the starting assignment on the mound for the Fords. Catholic struck for the opening run in the bottom of the second as Connor Sullivan laced a one-out single and advanced into scoring position on an error. Cid Porter followed with a double into right field, plating Sullivan for the early advantage.
After struggling against Cardinals starter Jon Mierzwa in the first two frames, the Fords broke through for a pair of runs in the third. Michael Schwarze led off the inning with his first career home run and Will Karp knocked one over the fence with one out to give Haverford a newly minted 2-1 lead.
After Livingston delivered a scoreless frame in the bottom of the third, new Catholic pitcher Ross Dean (1-0) kept the Fords off the board in the top of the fourth.
Brennan Cotter led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a double to right center and came in to score on a bunt single off the bat of Ryan Tracy. The Cardinals plated two more runs in the inning with singles from Danny O'Hagan and Jake Crist, as the hosts suddenly pulled ahead 6-2 with a five-run frame. With two out, Livingston was replaced by first year Nathan Bass, who got the final out of the inning to limit the damage for Haverford.
Haverford rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth to cut the Catholic lead to just one at 6-5. Spencer Sohmer reached first on a dropped third strike, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. After Sam Partee coaxed a walk, Tom Phillips delivered an RBI single to plate Sohmer. With one out, Schwarze singled to right, scoring Partee. The Fords plated the third run of the frame on a fielder's choice off the bat of Owen Plambeck, allowing Phillips to score from third.
Bass pitched a scoreless sixth, giving the Fords an opportunity to tie or take the lead in the final frame of the seven-inning contest. Ethan Lee-Tyson delivered a two-out single, but was stranded as Jack Ropelewski worked the final 1.2 innings to pick up his first save of the young season. Haverford was able to take advantage of Catholic mistakes, staying right with the Cardinals despite an eight-strikeout effort from Mierzwa is just three innings.
In the second game, Haverford sent newcomer Luke Duris to the hill to counter Mason Belcher (1-0). The Fords fell behind in the bottom of the first as O'Hagan singled ahead of back-to-back one-out walks issued by Duris. An error on a fielder's choice attempt plated the first run of the contest for the Cardinals and Duris walked his third batter of the inning, scoring Catholic's second run.
Haverford put a run across in the third inning as Karp reached on an infield single ahead of a Ben Somorjai double. The Fords tied the score in the fourth inning after Sohmer led off with a double and Schwarze punched an RBI single to right field.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Catholic pushed the deciding run across against reliever Andrew Johnson (0-1). Bailey Lewis singled and advanced to second on a balk. Cotter singled ahead of Sullivan, who put a ball into the left center field gap to plate Lewis for the third and final run of the contest for the Cardinals.
The Fords put runners in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings, but stranded the tying run in both frames as Collin Brown pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the save.
Haverford was making its first appearance against Catholic since the 1995 season. The Fords will next be in action on Tuesday, March 6 as Haverford makes the quick jaunt to Eastern for a 3 p.m. first pitch.