LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall picked up a key doubleheader sweep over Dickinson on Saturday in Centennial Conference (CC) baseball action at Caplan Field. The Diplomats (18-14, 9-4 CC) posted a come-from-behind 9-3 victory in the opener, before grinding out a 2-0 triumph in game two.
The doubleheader sweep puts the Diplomats in a tie for second place in the CC standings with Gettysburg with five conference contests remaining.
Dickinson (11-22, 2-11 CC) held a 3-0 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning in game one, but the Diplomats clawed their way back with a two-run fifth before taking the lead for good with a three-run sixth.
Kevin Shields got F&M on the board in the fifth with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Rob Anderson, while Matt Mezansky followed with an RBI single to center that allowed Aaron Gillette to touch home to pull the Diplomats within a 3-2 deficit.
In the sixth, F&M did its damage all with two outs as it benefitted from a pair of fielding errors by the Red Devils. Avery Attinson evened the score at 3-3 with an RBI single to left field that scored Brian Erb. Attinson's hit was misplayed by the Dickinson left fielder, allowing Gillette to race home on the same play to give the Diplomats their first lead, 4-3. Shields later lined an RBI single to center that plated Attinson to push the lead to 5-3.
A four-run eighth gave the F&M pitching staff all it would need as the Diplomats entered the ninth with a commanding 9-3 edge. Gillette touched home on a wild pitch, while Will Benenson, Mezansky, and Alex Vescera each delivered RBI hits in the frame.
Brendan DeMond (6-2) fanned a season-high 10 batters in 8.0 innings of work on the mound to earn the win for F&M. The senior righthander walked just one batter and allowed three runs, one earned, on nine hits. Chris Mathewson pitched a shutout ninth with one strikeout in relief.
Ryan Kramer (3-4) took the loss for the Red Devils, lasting 7.0 innings and giving up five runs, two earned, while striking out four and walking three.
Shields and Mezansky each registered two RBIs apiece, while Gillette went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and Attinson tallied two hits and touched home twice.
Game two was a low-scoring affair that featured just six hits apiece from both sides as starting southpaws Sean Cosgriff and Harley Moore were both sharp on the rubber.
Cosgriff (3-4) picked up the win with a shutout 7.1 innings, allowing five hits while striking out four and walking four. Andrew Green registered the final two outs in the eighth, before Vescera came in to close out the ninth for his sixth save of the year, which ties him for the single-season record. With runners on first and third and one out in the ninth, Vescera notched a strikeout and forced a groundout to third to close out the victory for the Diplomats.
Moore (3-6) tossed 7.0 innings, allowing two runs, both unearned, on six hits while striking out six for the Red Devils.
The lone scoring in the contest came in the bottom of the fifth, as Gillette and Vescera delivered RBIs with two outs in the frame. With Pat Andrews on third and two away, Gillette poked a lined double down the line in left for what would prove to be the game-winner, while Vescera followed with a slow-rolling infield single towards the second baseman that scored Gillette, who was running on the pitch, all the way from second base.
F&M returns to CC action tomorrow at Washington College at 2:00 p.m.