Diplomats Rally in Game One, Split Doubleheader

Diplomats Rally in Game One, Split Doubleheader

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall split its Centennial Conference (CC) doubleheader with Muhlenberg on Saturday in a pair of contests that came down to the wire. The Diplomats (14-14, 5-4 CC) put together a four-run ninth inning to take game one 6-3, while the Mules (15-13, 3-6 CC) rallied late in game two to secure a 7-5 victory.

Trailing 3-2 heading into the top of the ninth after a back-and-forth initial eight innings, the Diplomats dropped four runs on the Mules in the frame to take a 6-3 edge, before Alex Vescera earned his fifth save of the year with a one-two-three bottom of the ninth to close out the win.

Will Benenson opened the ninth with a double to left field to ignite the rally, followed by Avery Attinson's bunt single. A one-out walk by Joe Gallitto loaded the base paths, and Rob Anderson came through with the game-winning hit, registering an two-RBI single to left that scored Benenson and Pat Andrews.

Aaron Gillette and Vescera each followed with RBI singles to right center to tack on some insurance runs for F&M.

Benenson notched three hits and scored once, Anderson went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, Vescera posted two hits and two RBIs, while Gillette also tallied a pair of hits.

On the mound, Brendan DeMond Improved to 5-2 on the year with an eight-inning outing. The senior righthander struck out six and allowed just one earned run while scattering eight hits. Rob Shannon (2-3) suffered the game one loss for the Mules, allowing eight hits and four runs in eight innings.

Game two featured another big ninth-inning rally, but this time it was the Mules who secured the win with a six-run final frame.

After tying up the contest at 1-1 in the fifth off Benenson's RBI double to left , F&M took its first lead in the seventh with a four-run inning. Attinson, Kevin Shields, and Vescera tallied RBIs to highlight the frame for the Diplomats.

The Mules wouldn't go away, however, as they mounted a furious comeback in the ninth, capped off by Brett Rosen's walk-off three-run homer to left field.

Attinson led the way at the plate in game two, going 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Gillette and Shields each notched two hits in the loss.

Chris Mathewson (2-2) suffered the loss in the nightcap for F&M. Starter Sean Cosgriff went eight innings, striking out two and walking two while allowing four earned runs on seven hits.

The Diplomats return home tomorrow to take on Ursinus in CC action at 1:00 p.m.