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Baseball Comes Up Short To Johns Hopkins

Zach Landry
Zach Landry

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College baseball team (18-19, 9-9 CC) was upended in a doubleheader by Johns Hopkins (20-17, 10-8 CC) on Saturday afternoon at Kannerstein Field. The Fords put forth a spirited rally to tie the first contest before falling in the ninth, 10-7, on a three-run Blue Jays rally. In game two, Haverford clawed back to pull within one run before JHU held on to take the sweep with an 11-7 decision. With Haverford needing a win to reach the CC playoffs, it was instead Johns Hopkins stealing the bid with the road sweep. 

Haverford sent ace sophomore Mike Rabayda to the hill in game one, but the Blue Jays did some early work offensively against him, with Matthew Cooper delivering a two-run homer and Jack Pausic tallying an RBI double in the frame as JHU went ahead 3-0. Haverford scratched its way back immediately, with a run on a triple from Anthony Runfola. Each team added a solo homer in the second, with Jack Walters homering in the top of the frame and Zach Landry with an immediate answer, swatting his first of the year to pull the Fords within two. JHU added another home run in the third off the bat of Jack Pausic, and scored another insurance run on a bizarre sacrifice fly double play in the sixth. With the 7-2 lead in hand, Haverford still had one last gasp with a spirited eighth inning.

Against reliever Jonah Offman, Haverford had its best inning of the day in the eighth. Zach Becker was hit by a pitch with one out, and Jack Wallis singled ahead of a hit batter uncorked by Offman, allowing Zach Buck to reach to load the bases. It was Landry who then unleashed a titanic grand slam to left field, pulling Haverford to within just one run and absolutely electrifying the partisan home crowd at Kannerstein Field. Jonny Flieder kept the line moving with a double and Harry Genth tagged a double to center to plate Flieder, tying the score improbably at 7-7 with one of the best moments of the season.

The Haverford momentum was short lived as Dillon Souvignier drilled a pinch-hit two run double in the ninth to put JHU ahead. Pinch runner James Ingram scored on a wild pitch for an insurance run in the frame. In the ninth, Becker got into scoring position with a single and a wild pitch, but Jack Tarantino logged the final four outs to send his team to victory. Rabayda was again a strikeout machine for Haverford, notching nine in six innings while walking two. Matthew Dillard largely matched that effort with eight strikeouts in his seven frames, surrendering four walks and four hits. 

Landry finished with five RBI with his two blasts, setting the tone out of the seventh hole in the lineup. Becker was the other Haverford batter with multiple hits.In game two, Tarantino got the start, continuing what he finished in game one as Haverford countered with Josh Fuller, who has appeared largely this season as a relief ace but blossomed into the starting role down the stretch. 

Haverford opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, scoring early as Genth walked and Luke Smith singled his teammate to third, setting the stage for a sacrifice fly from Runfola. JHU battled back with a four-run, four-hit frame in the second, a stretch characterized by another homer from Walters. A homer from Shawn Steuerer in the third was erased on Landry's RBI infield single in the bottom of the frame, and Haverford pulled to within two on Buck's sacrifice fly in the inning. 

A three-run blast off the bat of Buck in the fifth pulled Haverford to within one, again captivating the crowd at Kannerstein, but insurance runs in the seventh and eighth put JHU up 11-6. Haverford got one back in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with walks before Hyunwoo Roh was summoned from the JHU bullpen, instantly calming things down after Smith's sacrifice fly. He twirled a perfect ninth inning to send the Blue Jays to the second win of the day. Buck was the RBI man for the Fords in game two, notching four while Landry and Smith each had two-hit days. Steuerer and Walters did the damage offensively for Johns Hopkins, as the four through eight spots in the lineup each tallied multiple hits. 

Riley Grohowski looked solid in relief of Fuller, striking out four in his 4.2 innings of work. Tarantino was credited with both wins on the day after a five-inning performance with three strikeouts. 

Haverford has now concluded its 2022 campaign. A young team coming off two consecutive pandemic-shortened seasons, Haverford returned to competition with aplomb and will now miss the contributions of a senior class that provided leadership on and off the field. The program looks to be in strong shape with breakout first years Harry Genth and Anthony Runfola each making their presences felt daily in the lineup while Zach Becker and Zach Landry return for their senior seasons after spraying the ball all over the field in strong junior seasons. Rabayda certainly caught the attention of the Centennial Conference on the mound and will look to build upon a breakout sophomore campaign.