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Baseball Sweeps Brown Behind Complete Games From Ford & Link

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 03/31/2013
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Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
Kevin Link earned his first win of the year in his complete game performance.
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Box Score: Game One
Box Score: Game Two

The Princeton baseball team closed out its first Ivy League weekend with a sweep versus Brown Sunday. The Tigers went 3-1 in their first homestand behind a pair of 3-1 victories over the Bears. Both starting pitchers Mike Ford and Kevin Link put together complete game performances, while the offense scored early runs and managed to protect the lead down the stretch.

Turning Point of the Game: After earning a 1-0 lead off a bases loaded walk in the second, Brown countered with a run of its own in the top of the sixth to tie things up. In a familiar situation as they have been in numerous non-conference games this year, conceding the lead before being able to add some run support, the Tigers responded with a scoring rally in the bottom half of the frame. With runners on second and third, Will Davis singled to right field to send home the game-winning run and Billy Arendt added a sacrifice fly to put the Tigers up 3-1 for good in the early game.

In the seventh inning of game two, Link loaded the bases with no outs. With the Tigers 2-0 lead on the line, Link managed to get out of the inning only giving up one run on a sacrifice fly and did not allow another base runner after loading them up.

Noteworthy Play of the Day: Princeton's game two offense opened with two runs on two hits in the bottom of the first. Steve Harrington knocked an RBI single to right field with one out and runners on the corners. Two batters later, Brown's starting pitcher Kevin Carlow threw a wild pitch to send home the Tigers second run. The run proved to be the deciding factor after Brown broke up Link's shutout in the top of the seventh. 

Player of the Game: The versatile Ford was an asset on both ends of the ball for the Tigers. The game one starter, he went all seven innings, striking out five, scattering five hits and giving up only one run in 27 batters faced to improve to 2-0. Runners only advanced to third once versus Ford.

He also had a hit, two runs and two walks at the plate, getting on base in four of his five at-bats.

Pitcher of the Game: Link earned his first victory of the year behind his nine-inning, four-strikeout performance. He gave up only three hits on one run, holding Brown scoreless until the seventh inning. Link found himself in a jam in the seventh when he walked a pair and hit a batter to load the bases with no outs. The righty was able to get out of the inning only giving up a run on a sacrifice fly, as he forced two fly outs and a pop out to close out the frame.

Batters of the Game: Alec Keller and Harrington were key in getting the Tigers' offense ignited in both games. Keller finished the day going 3-for-6, including his first triple of the year, with a pair of runs in the leadoff role in both outings. In game two he was hit by a pitch in the first and accounted for Princeton's opening run. In the seventh he hit a one-out triple down the right field line to score Princeton's insurance run.

Harrington went 2-for-7 with two RBI and two runs. In game one, Harrington led the second off and struck out swinging, but it was a wild pitch and Brown's catcher Van Broom was unable to stop it before it rolled to the backstop. A quick thinking Harrington safely sprinted to first and was the Tigers' opening run. The latter game's scoring opened with his RBI single to right field and he was credited with Princeton's final run of the day on an RBI ground out.

Honorable Mention of the Game: Freshman Arendt went 1-for-3 with an RBI and three walks. Two of his walks contributed to runs and he had a sixth inning sacrifice fly in game one.

On Deck: The Tigers (5-17, 3-1 Ivy) head to Seton Hall on Wednesday, Apr. 3 in midweek non-conference action.

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