F&M Downs Messiah

GRANTHAM, Pa. - Matt Valente pitched six shutout innings and Franklin & Marshall used timely hitting to down host Messiah, 3-1, in non-conference baseball action on Tuesday afternoon. The Diplomats even their record at 3-3 with the win, while the Falcons drop to 1-4.

The Falcons nearly jumped on top in the bottom of the first as they loaded the bases with one away, but Valente recorded two straight outs to escape the early jam.

Both sides remained scoreless until the top of the fourth, when the Diplomats began a string of three consecutive innings in which they scored one run. Avery Attinson got the action started in the fourth with a one-out single to center field, before Josh Mendelson and Brian Erb registered back-to-back two-out singles, with Erb's plating Attinson from second, to put F&M ahead, 1-0.

Aaron Gillette opened the fifth with a single to center field, and later crossed home plate after the Falcons third baseman misplayed a ball of the bat of Will Benenson to bring the score to 2-0.

In the sixth, F&M took advantage of another Messiah error as Erb reached base and advanced to second on an error by the shortstop with two outs. Alex Vescera then made the Falcons pay with an RBI double to give the Diplomats a three-run cushion with three frames to play.

The Falcons tallied one score in the seventh, but would get no closer as Andrew Green and Paul Giulio closed out the win for F&M. Green pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one run on three hits, while Guilio notched his second save of the season with a shutout ninth.

Valente (1-0) picked up his first victory of the year on the mound with six shutout frames. The senior lefthander fanned four batters, walked four and allowed six hits on the day.

Tory Arnenson (0-1) took the loss for Messiah, surrendering three runs on seven hits in six innings of work.

Vescera went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Attinson went 2-for-4 with one run scored for the Diplomats. Erb notched one hit, one RBI and crossed the plate once for F&M in the win.

John Brubaker went 2-for-3 and scored the only Messiah run of the contest, while Derek Drake knocked in the RBI.

The Diplomats return to action on Sunday with a doubleheader against UMass-Boston to begin their spring break trip in Florida. Game one of the twinbill is set for 1:30 pm.

Franklin & Marshall 3, Messiah College 1 (Mar 06, 2012 at Grantham, PA)
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Franklin & Marshall. 000 111 000  -  3  7  0      (3-3)
Messiah College..... 000 000 100  -  1 10  2      (1-4)
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Pitchers: Franklin & Marshall - Matt Valente; Andrew Green(7); Paul Giulio(9) and Josh Mendelson
Messiah College - T. Arnesen; G. Halteman(7); D. Okerblom(9) and R. Brown.

Win-Matt Valente (1-0) 

Save-Paul Giulio (2) 

Loss-T. Arnesen(0-1)