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Baseball Sweeps Away Wisconsin Lutheran at Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic

Luke Wallis
Luke Wallis

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Haverford College baseball team (5-3) kept the bats hot in a doubleheader sweep of Wisconsin Lutheran (5-4) on Saturday at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Fort Myers. The Fords stormed past the Warriors in the first game, 15-3, before returning in the afternoon to fend off a challenge in an 8-4 victory. 

Haverford 15, Wisconsin Lutheran 3

After the Warriors struck for an early run against Andrew Johnson (2-0), the Fords went to work offensively against Dylan Knoespel (0-1).  After a hit batsman and two errors loaded the bases for the Fords, Owen Plambeck knocked in a run with a single, and Tom Phillips followed with a single of his own for a 3-1 lead. Ben Browning then grounded out to the right side, plating Plambeck for the 4-1 advantage.

Plambeck's double in the third knocked in a run, and Haverford had a big inning in the fifth. Will Karp singled and Ethan Lee-Tyson walked, setting the stage for Ryan Schwartz. Schwartz doubled down the right field line to score the pair. Later inning the inning with Knoespel chased from the contest, Browning drilled a single to score two, and Zach Landry added a bunt single. Luke Smith then reached on a fielder's choice, with a throwing error allowing Browning to score. Haverford went ahead 11-3 when all was said and done in the six-run frame. 

A wild pitch in the sixth inning scored Plambeck, and Browning added another RBI single in the inning. After Grant Schwartz added a run on a fielder's choice, Smith delivered a sacrifice fly and suddenly the Fords had a 15-spot on the scoreboard through just six full innings, just one day after racking up 20 runs in a nine inning contest against Rockford.

Johnson was keeping the Warriors at bay on the other side of Haverford's offensive barrage, scattering just five hits and two earned runs over his five frames. Johnson struck out three. Cole Bramhall had two solid innings in relief, striking out one and not allowing a hit.

For the offense, Browning was a standout, knocking in four runs during his first collegiate week of action. Fellow first year Ryan Schwartz plated a pair, as did Plambeck and Phillips. Ryan Schwartz and Plambeck each had three-hit days.

Haverford 8, Wisconsin Lutheran 4

As has been a common theme all week for Haverford, the Fords put runs across in the early frames of the seven-inning contest as Karp and Lee-Tyson formed a dynamic duo at the top of the lineup yet again. Karp singled to start off the contest and Lee-Tyson reached on a fielder's choice while Karp came home on an error. Jared Turner plated another run with a bunt as Haverford took a 2-0 cushion at the end of the first frame.

Wisconsin Lutheran added one back off a Joey Tiley single in the bottom of the inning, but Haverford starter Ryan Giovenco was able to turn the tide, allowing just two hits and one earned run in his three innings of work.

Nick Perez reached on an infield single to begin the fourth and promptly stole second. Garrett Melby then reached on a single, and Will Karp later plated Perez with a bunt single to cash in a run for a 3-1 advantage. Wisconsin Lutheran grabbed a three-run frame in the bottom of the fourth, with Brannigan Hart, Sid Lehman and Joey Tilley all knocking in runs to give Wisconsin Lutheran a brief 4-3 lead.

The Fords went back to work in the fifth, chasing Wisconsin Lutheran starter Spencer Michaelis (1-1) from the game with a big inning. Perez, Lee-Tyson and Wallis each delivered RBI singles in the frame as Haverford's five-run, three-hit inning suddenly gave the Fords some breathing room up 8-4. The lead held at that margin as Eric Kopczynski (1-0) earned his first career win with 3.1 innings of scoreless relief, striking out one and surrendering just three hits.

Karp was the only Haverford hitter with a multi-hit game in the second contest, while Luke Wallis continued his hot start, knocking in a pair of runs.

The Fords now wrap up Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic competition on Saturday against Lakeland. The first pitch is slated for 9 a.m.