WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team battled in a pair of narrow losses on Saturday afternoon in Winter Haven, Fla., falling to Oswego St. by a 4-1 score (7 innings) before coming up just short in a 9-8 (7 innings) defeat in the nightcap. The Diplomats dropped to 6-6 on the season, while the Lakers improved to 4-1.
The first game opened with a pitching duel as neither team generated much offense through the opening three frames. Oswego got the first runs on the board in the fourth when an error with runners on second and third allowed a pair to score as the Lakers captured the 2-0 lead.
Oswego extended the lead to 4-0 with an RBI single to right field in the top of the fifth, followed by another RBI single in the following frame. F&M finally crossed home in the bottom of the sixth when a Joe Gallitto single through the right side scored Matt Mezansky from second to pull within three.
The Diplomats placed a runner on first with a walk in the bottom of the seventh but struck out swinging to end the contest. Sam Ackerman (0-1) was charged with the loss after allowing two earned in five innings on the mound. His counterpart, Brendyn Karinchak (1-1) registered the victory by going all seven frames, allowing one earned and striking out four.
Gallitto paced the offense with a 2-for-3 day at the plate to go along with an RBI. Rob Anderson also notched a pair of hits with a 2-for-3 effort in the contest.
Trailing 1-0 in the nightcap, a three run, two hit inning gave F&M a 3-1 lead in the top of the third. Anderson singled home a runner in the frame, while Will Benenson's double down the left field line plated a runner. Benenson scored later in the inning off a wild pitch.
Oswego scored four unanswered with a pair of runs in each of the next two innings to pull ahead at 5-3 before the Diplomats made it a one-run game in the top of the sixth when Brian Erb crossed home off a balk from the Laker's hurler.
Four runs off four hits in the bottom of the frame once again extended the advantage for Oswego as the Lakers took a commanding 9-4 lead heading into the final inning.
F&M did not go away easily in the top of the seventh as Avery Attinson led off the frame with a single through the right side. Brett Poniros reached on an error by Oswego's shortstop before a walk from Anderson loaded the bases.
Mezansky's sacrifice fly to center scored Attinson, before Benenson singled through the left side to once again load the bases. After a pitching change from the Lakers, Gallitto reached on a walk to allow Poniros to score and make it a 9-6 ballgame.
David Iacobucci was hit by a pitch to allow another runner to cross home and make it 9-7, followed by a Brian Erb walk to make it 9-8 as Benenson completed his trip around the bases.
A pop up to short in F&M's next at bat placed two outs on the board. With the bases still juiced, the Diplomats near comeback bid fell just short with a called third strike on the outside of the plate as F&M went down looking to conclude the contest.
Five Diplomats recorded a pair of hits in the game as F&M combined for 10 hits as a team. Oswego also notched 10 hits on the afternoon.
Paul Giulio (2-2) started the game and was dealt the loss after allowing five earned in four innings of work. Miles Kelly (2-0) captured the win for the Lakers, tossing four innings and allowing one earned while striking out two.
The Diplomats close out their Florida spring break trip tomorrow against Oneonta St. The non-conference game is scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. start in Winter Haven.