Getz, Haverford play long game to outlast EA

NEWTOWN SQUARE — Ryan Getz reminded his Haverford School teammates after they scored nine runs in the top of the first inning Friday that the game was far from over.

The senior designated hitter, who smashed a bases-clearing double to give the Fords a cozy nine-run lead against rival Episcopal Academy. Haverford sent 13 batters to the plate in the 30-minute half inning. Episcopal starter Logan Correll threw 45 pitches and got only one out.

“I kind of brought the guys together and said to them that it’s a seven-inning game. And when it’s Haverford-EA, it’s going to be a competitive game,” Getz said. “It was one half inning, so I knew we had to stick together. Unfortunately we sort of slacked off a bit, but we definitely battled through it.”

Episcopal fought back to tie the game with four runs in the fourth and five in the fifth. But the Fords salvaged what would’ve been a disappointing loss thanks to great relief pitching by Jac Campbell and Cole Donnelly’s tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the sixth. Campbell then escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to give Haverford a 10-9 victory in both teams’ Inter-Ac finale.

The Fords (18-6, 5-5) won four of their final five league games to clinch third place in the Inter-Ac. The Churchmen (13-8, 4-6) finished in fourth place.

“It was a good thing to see them come back and not crumble,” Fords coach Bob Castell said. “Kevin (Reavey) did a nice job (in relief of starter Ian White) keeping us in the game and Jac came in to steady the ship. We have a lot of confidence in Jac in those positions, there’s no moment too big for him. He didn’t get fazed out there. … I thought we did a good job, we started out in the conference 0-4 and coming back to go 5-5 says a lot. We played well and showed we belong.”

The Fords went in front in the sixth when Mark Quatrani led off by reaching second on an error in right field. With the bases loaded, Donnelly hit a fly ball to center field, enabling Quatrani to score the go-ahead run.

“We came out with a ton of confidence, ended up giving the lead away, but we knew we had to fight hard to come away with the win,” said Donnelly, who walked twice and scored a run. “EA is always scrappy, always a hard-nosed team. We knew it would be a tough game no matter what on their home field.”

It was a hard way for EA reliever Michael Cadden to suffer the loss. After entering with one out and the bases packed in the first inning, Cadden allowed only runs on two hits in 5.2 frames, striking out five.

Episcopal senior TJ Cadden, who is bound for Bucknell to play football, was proud to see his younger brother give the Churchmen quality innings out of the pen.

“Playing with my brother is absolutely awesome,” he said. “He just goes out there and does his thing. I’m just so happy to see him pitch so well because I know how hard he works and he deserves the best always.”

Campbell walked nine-hole hitter Owen Peiffer and allowed an Alex Barrist single to begin the bottom of the seventh. Jack Hurda then grounded out to first to put runners at second and third. The Fords intentionally walked TJ Cadden, who had three singles and reached base five times, to load the bases with one out. Tyler Beaulieu hit a grounder to shortstop Connor Scanlan, who fired to home for the force out. Jake Virbitsky then grounded out softly to Donnelly at second to end the game.

“The main goal was to get six outs any way I can,” Campbell said. “It didn’t matter if it was a clean six outs or a dirty six outs. I was trying to place my pitches well and, if they hit it, so be it. If it’s good it’s good, if it’s bad it’s bad. I know I have my guys behind me.”

Episcopal sent nine hitters to plate in the fifth to even the score. Derek Boyd-Volz had the game-tying, two-RBI single. Ryan Tansky had key RBI hits in the fourth and fifth innings. Beaulieu and Brad Johnston each doubled for the Churchmen.

Both teams will compete in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association tournament next week. The Fords are the defending champions.

“We feel like we are never out of any game,” TJ Cadden said. “We are right there in every game, even when we lose. It’s going to start going our way, we know that. I’m very confident we can make a run for sure.”

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