Haverford Baseball
Haverford hurler Mike Rabaya. | PHOTO: Haverford Athletics
Haverford is gearing up for their fifteenth appearance in the Centennial Conference tournament, set to begin on Tuesday afternoon at Caplan Field on Franklin & Marshall College's campus. 
The matchup features the Haverford Fords (21-14, 11-7 CC) against the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats (19-19, 11-7 CC). The winner will advance to the double-elimination phase of the tournament, while the losing club will conclude its season. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
With a rivalry that dates back to 1916, Franklin & Marshall holds a slight advantage over Haverford in their all-time series. 
Key players to watch include Haverford's senior co-captain Mike Rabayda, a standout pitcher this season leading the conference in strikeouts (74) and wins (7). Junior shortstop and co-captain Harry Genth (10 homers, 25 RBIs, 37 stolen bases, .354 batting average) has been a force on offense, leading the nation in stolen bases per game (1.28). 
Haverford's strengths lie in their base running, ranking second nationally in stolen bases (140) and third in home runs (27) within the conference. Franklin & Marshall boasts players like Jakob Hoffman (45 RBIs) and Bobby Falese (43 runs scored), contributing significantly to their offensive and defensive capabilities. 
The two teams split a doubleheader when they met in mid-April in Lancaster. Haverford secured a 7-3 victory in game one, showcasing a balanced performance. Mike Rabayda led the charge, pitching seven innings with two earned runs and six strikeouts, earning him the win. Drew Doyle closed the game, pitching the final two innings, striking out three, and allowing just one run. Harry Genth and Kendrick Curry II contributed with home runs. 
In game two, Franklin & Marshall (F&M) dominated with a resounding 15-5 victory over the visitors. 
The last encounter between these teams in the Centennial Conference postseason was in 2019. The Diplomats narrowly secured a 2-0 victory in the semifinal match held in Lancaster. However, Haverford quickly rebounded, clinching a Saturday triumph over the Diplomats in Baltimore. Notably, Ethan Lee-Tyson's decisive three-run homer propelled the Fords back to the CC championship game for the fourth time in eight seasons, adding a thrilling chapter to their rivalry. 
Over the years, these teams have met in postseason play ten times since 2006. Franklin & Marshall's last Centennial crown was in 2013, contrasting with Haverford's recent successes in 2012, 2014, and 2016.
Local Diplomats:  Sophomore outfielder Michael von Zuben (Warrington/Germantown Academy) started 30 games for the Diplomats this year, hitting .358 with 19 stolen bases ... Senior righy Thomas McLaughlin (Ambler/La Salle College HS) made 14 relief appearances while limiting opponents to a .136 batting average ... Senior outfielder Drew Butera (Collegeville/Malvern Prep) has six homers to go along with 44 RBIs while hitting .311.

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