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Baseball Powers Past Muhlenberg in Extras, 8-5

Luke Wallis
Luke Wallis
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ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Haverford College baseball team (10-9, 3-0 CC), upended host Muhlenberg (10-10, 0-3 CC) on Tuesday afternoon at Cedarcreek Field, taking a dramatic 8-5 victory in 12 innings. Junior Luke Wallis connected on a towering three-run homer in extra innings to hand Haverford a come-from-behind road victory in the first game of a crucial Centennial Conference pairing with the Mules. 

Junior Will Karp had a fantastic day at the dish, going 4-for-5 while missing a cycle by just a home run. Karp reached 100 career hits with his single in the ninth inning as he knocked in a pair of runners and ultimately provided the winning run, walking to lead off a 12th-inning rally that provided the final jolt for the Fords. Ethan Lee-Tyson tied Haverford's career record for runs scored in the third inning. The senior co-captain is now knotted with Charlie Carluccio '11 as both have 144 runs scored in their Haverford careers. Lee-Tyson also had a two-hit day to move to within six hits of tying Carluccio for the program's all-time career hits record (195). Brandon Jenkins (1-1) picked up the win with six innings of scoreless relief, stymieing the Muhlenberg lineup with five strikeouts in a crucial performance out of the bullpen.

The hosts plated four first inning runs, with the first four hitters all reaching ahead of an RBI single from Michael Martinez and an RBI groundout by Brenden Weiss. Muhlenberg then loaded the bases in the second before Eric Kopczynski was summoned out of the Haverford bullpen. The first-year hurler got two crucial outs to keep Muhlenberg from furthering its lead, as he induced a pop out on the infield from cleanup hitter Matt Riebesell, and got five-hitter Jack Avallone to strike out swinging, handing Haverford a shot to hit the bat rack down by just the four runs.

After the bats were largely held at bay for the first two innings, Haverford tied the score at 4-4 with a third-inning rally. Nick Perez walked to lead off the inning, and Sam Partee followed with a single. After Luke Smith dropped down a sacrifice bunt to put the pair in scoring position, Karp doubled into the gap, plating a pair and trimming the Mules advantage to 4-2. Lee-Tyson then reached on a bunt single, and Harrison Burns plated Karp with a single through the right side, moving Lee-Tyson to third. Wallis grounded out to the right side, allowing Lee-Tyson to score the tying run while putting the momentum squarely back in the Haverford dugout.

Muhlenberg added a run in the sixth to regain a 5-4 advantage, but Haverford tied the contest again in the top of the seventh. Karp smashed a two-out triple into right field, and came in to score on a wild pitch as Haverford again found the timely hitting it needed to even up the battle.

Jenkins came on in relief in the seventh and immediately showed prowess. The defense came up big behind him,  doubling off Michael Martinez from first base as Lee-Tyson made a sliding catch and threw to Wallis at first to end the frame.

Haverford had two runners on with two out in the eighth, but couldn't push a run across against Mules hurler Truman Devitt. The Fords again loaded the bases in the ninth, but Devitt worked out of the jam to send the contest to extra frames. Devitt recorded perfect innings in the 10th and 11th, while Jenkins was able to work around a 10th-inning single to keep the contest deadlocked. 

Paul Poppert took over on the hill to begin the 12th for the Mules, and a patient Karp worked a walk, forcing himself into scoring position by immediately stealing second. Burns walked with one out, setting the stage for Wallis, who connected on the game-winning homer, giving Haverford an 8-5 lead heading into the bottom of the frame.

Avallone powered a one-out double in the 12th, but Jenkins worked out of trouble to seal a win with a memorable relief outing. Six different Fords scored a run while eight different batters reached base. John Serulo and Chris Grillo each had three-hit days for the Mules. 

Haverford will return to action on Friday, hosting Muhlenberg to complete the home-and-home conference series at Kannerstein Field. First pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m.