F&M Splits CC Opener With McDaniel

F&M Splits CC Opener With McDaniel

WESTMINSTER, Md. – Franklin & Marshall split its doubleheader with host McDaniel on Saturday afternoon in the Centennial Conference (CC) opener for both squads. The Diplomats (10-10) captured game one 6-2, while the Green Terror (11-8) responded with a 10-4 triumph in the nightcap.

Brendan DeMond (4-1) continued his hot start to the year with a complete-game victory for F&M in the opener. The senior righthander recorded seven strikeouts while surrendering two runs and walking two. Aside from the Green Terror's two-run second frame, DeMond allowed just four baserunners to reach scoring position throughout the contest.

F&M captured game one not only behind the arm of DeMond, but also with a stellar fielding performance all across the diamond. McDaniel was aggressive on the base paths, and the Diplomats made them pay as they threw out multiple baserunners attempting to snag extra bases.

A three-run second inning gave F&M a lead it would not relinquish as the Diplomats put together three hits and also benefitted from three errors by the Green Terror.  Matt Mezansky opened the scoring, touching home on a throwing error by the McDaniel catcher, while Joe Gallitto made it 2-0 F&M with an RBI single to center field that scored Alex Vescera. Gallitto crossed home plate shortly thereafter on another error from the McDaniel infield.

The Green Terror answered in the bottom half of the second as Marshall Betts tallied a solo homer to left field and Andrew Hofmeister notched an RBI on an infield groundout, scoring Brandon Hayward, to pull McDaniel within a 3-2 margin.

The Diplomats pushed out to a 4-2 edge in the fourth as Avery Attinson's sacrifice fly to left field scored Pat Andrews.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Diplomats' fielding prowess was on full display as they registered the frame's third out on a well-executed relay play from right-center field. With Pat Christopher on first, Cameron Bahr lined an opposite-field single that rolled into deep right center. Christopher attempted to score on the play, but Brian Erb, Vescera and Andrews combined on a flawless relay to nab Christopher at home and keep the score at 4-2.

F&M tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth, highlighted by Mezansky's rising liner RBI triple that soared over the centerfielder's head, and Vescera's RBI single that he ripped through the left side.

Vescera went 4-for-5 with an RBI in game one, while Mezansky went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Attinson and Gallitto also registered RBIs, and Aaron Gillette and Andrews tallied two hits apiece.

In game two, the Diplomats twice held the lead in the contest but were unable to overcome a six-run sixth inning by McDaniel and fell 10-4.

Will Benenson's sacrifice fly in the top of the first scored Gillette and gave F&M the initial 1-0 lead, but Betts notched a two-RBI double to left in the bottom of the first to give the Green Terror a 2-1 advantage. Betts made it 3-1 Green Terror in the third with an RBI single to left that scored Christopher.

Benenson registered his second and third RBIs of the contest in the fifth as the Diplomats re-claimed the lead, 4-3. Josh Mendelson touched home after surviving a rundown between third and home, before Benenson poked a two-RBI single into left center.

Things unraveled for the Diplomats in the sixth as McDaniel put together six scores on five hits and jumped out to a commanding 9-4 edge.

Sean Cosgriff took the loss for F&M in the nightcap to fall to 2-3 on the year. Cosgriff pitched 5.1 innings, surrendering six runs on nine hits.

Zach Jones (6-1) earned the win for McDaniel, fanning six batters in 8.0 innings while giving up eight hits and four runs, one earned.

Attinson went 3-for-5 in game two, Benenson notched three RBIs, and Gillette touched home twice in the defeat.

The Diplomats return to the field on Tuesday with their CC home opener against Gettysburg at 3:30 p.m.