April 21, 2012

Taylor, Gettysburg Split at Haverford

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HAVERFORD, Pa. – Junior Ryan Taylor fired a seven-hit, nine-inning complete game in the nightcap of a crucial Centennial Conference doubleheader as Gettysburg came away with a split at Haverford College on Saturday.

The Bullets (20-11, 9-7 CC) dropped the opener 13-1 but prevailed 3-1 in the second game to remain in a three-way tie with Dickinson College and Washington College for third place in the conference standings with just two league games remaining. The top-four teams qualify for the league tournament.

It was Taylor's 15th career complete game but may have been his most impressive, all things considered. Working off three days rest for the first time as a Bullet, Taylor was facing a Haverford team that had averaged over 15 runs in its last five games and stood in second place in the conference standings. The Fords put a runner into scoring position in each of the first five innings, but Taylor found his groove late in the game, retiring 14 of the final 16 batters.

Gettysburg, which reached the 20-win mark for the seventh time in school history and the first time since 2007, has now won its most Centennial Conference games since the 2007 team went 12-6 in league play. Gettysburg also snapped a five-game losing skid against Haverford and ended the Fords five-game winning streak.

Junior Pat Cody finished 3-for-7 with two runs scored over the twinbill for the Bullets while freshman Scott Zanghellini was 3-for-5 with a double. Senior #Clint O'Brien# hit safely in both games, going 3-for-7 with a double while pushing his hitting streak to 11.

The Fords (18-17, 10-6 CC) took advantage of six Gettysburg errors – the Bullets season-high – to score six unearned runs in the opener. The hosts led 4-0 after two innings against freshman starter Eric Hungerford, then broke it open with a five-hit, seven-run third that was aided by two errors.

Gettysburg scored its lone run against starter Tommy Bergjans in the sixth, when Cody singled home sophomore Austin Davis.

Hungerford (3-4) left after 2 2/3 innings and absorbed the loss, allowing nine runs (six earned) on eight hits. Freshman Brett Harrington worked the final 5 1/3 and allowed four runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks while striking out a season-high four.

Cody finished 2-for-4 in the opener while Davis went 2-for-5.

Bergjans (4-3) earned the win, throwing seven innings and scattering seven hits while fanning five.

Taylor and Haverford starter Kyle Waney each took a shutout into the fourth inning of the second game, though each team had early chances to score. The Bullets stranded a runner on second in the second, then lined into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the third. Taylor received some defensive help in the first, when sophomore Al Posch gunned down a runner at third on a single to right to end the inning.

One inning later, Taylor helped himself when he picked a runner off second. He went on to leave a runner on second in both the second and third innings.

The Bullets finally broke through in the fourth, when Cody reached on an error leading off before scoring two batters later on a single from O'Brien. But Haverford answered in the bottom of the frame, when Jeremy Zoll led off with a single, stole second, and moved up two more bags on a pair of fly balls.

The Fords put up their most serious threat in the fifth, loading the bases with one out on a pair of singles and a hit batsman. But Taylor induced back-to-back flyouts, then retired the side in the sixth and seventh.

Gettysburg went in front to stay with a run in the sixth. The Bullets loaded the bases with no outs, getting singles from Cody and O'Brien sandwiched around a walk from sophomore Nate Simon. Sophomore Patrick O'Grady then lifted a ball into centerfield that drove in Cody but resulted in an 8-5 put-out at third for an unconventional fielder's choice. Waney avoided further damage when he got an inning-ending double play.

The Bullets scored their final run in the ninth, when O'Grady and sophomore Dan Budin drew back-to-back walks leading off against reliever Mike Bozzi. Zanghellini then reached on a bunt, and two batters later freshman Cory Karagjozi scored O'Grady with a sacrifice fly.

After leaving runners on first and second in the eighth, Taylor (4-3) retired the Fords in order in the ninth. He finished with two walks and two strikeouts.

Waney (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season, throwing six innings and giving up two runs on seven hits.

Simon went 2-for-3 for the Bullets while O'Brien was 2-for-4.

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