HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. - Franklin & Marshall closed out its opening weekend of play with an 11-9 triumph over Rutgers-Newark on the final day of the Hampden-Sydney Tournament on Sunday. The Diplomats (1-2) held off a late rally from the Scarlet Raiders (2-5) to pick up their first victory of the year.
Leading 11-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth, F&M withstood a furious Rutgers-Newark rally to escape with the victory. The Scarlet Raiders pulled within two runs, 11-9, with three scores early in the frame. With runners on second and third and one out, Brendan DeMond took over on the mound for the Diplomats and closed out the contest with back-to-back strikeouts to earn the save.
Sean Cosgriff (1-0) notched the win for F&M with solid first outing of the season, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out a pair of batters in 5.0 innings.
The Diplomats led from start to finish as they jumped out to an 8-0 advantage with two runs in both the second and fourth frames, before tacking on four more in the top of the fifth. Kevin Shields and Avery Attinson opened up the scoring in the second with back-to-back doubles to lead off the frame, while Rob Anderson knocked in Attinson with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
Anderson provided another key hit in the fourth, delivering a two-out, two-RBI single that scored Matt Mezansky and Attinson to push the Diplomats out to a 4-0 edge.
In the fifth, the Diplomats loaded the bases with nobody out after Aaron Gillette and Benenson received free passes, sandwiched by a bunt single from Alex Vescera. Shields, Attinson and Mezansky followed suit with RBIs, while Benenson crossed home plate on a passed ball.
The Scarlet Raiders wouldn't go away easily, however, as they answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth and four more in the sixth to climb back into the contest, 8-6. Matt Goldberg led the charge for Rutgers-Newark with a two-run homer in the fifth and a two-RBI double in the sixth.
F&M responded in the seventh with a two-run frame aided by three straight hits to begin the inning. Vescera led off with a double, before Benenson and Shields tallied consecutive RBI singles to make it 10-6.
Benenson's sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth wrapped up the scoring for F&M prior to the Scarlet Raiders' late comeback bid.
A slew of Diplomats contributed at the plate, with Anderson leading the way with a 2-for-4 performance and three RBIs. Benenson, Shields, and Attinson each added two RBIs, while Gillette and Vescera both had two hits and scored twice.
Goldberg's 3-for-4 day with four RBIs and three runs scored paced Rutgers-Newark.
F&M returns to the diamond on Wednesday for a matchup against Drew at 4:00 p.m. in Flemington, N.J.