WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – A huge six-run fifth inning keyed a 12-5 win for Franklin & Marshall over Trinity (Conn.) on Sunday afternoon at the Russmatt Central Florida Invitational in Winter Haven. The contest wrapped up spring break for the Diplomats (8-3), while the Bantams, who received votes in the latest national poll, fell to 7-5 overall.
Both starters shut down the opposing offenses through the first four innings, before the F&M attack came alive in the bottom of the fifth, tallying six runs off six hits to sprint out in front.
Dan Marano singled to right field in the frame to score Luke Seib from third, before Matt Mezansky drew a walk to put runners on second and third with two outs. David Iacobucci stepped to the dish and lined a triple to left field, scoring both runners, before crossing home himself off an error from Trinity's shortstop.
The Bantams responded with a two-RBI double and an RBI single down the left field line to cut the deficit to three at 6-3 in the sixth. In the bottom of the frame, the Diplomats furthered the gap once again, when a Mezansky groundout scored Brett Poniros from third, before Marano scored on a wild pitch, to go ahead 8-3.
Trinity once again made it a tight contest in the top of the eighth with a pair of runs off four hits, pulling within three at 8-5. However, the Diplomats put the contest out of reach for good with four runs off four hits, including RBI singles from Iacobucci and Christopher Vincent for the 12-5 final score.
Starting pitcher Alex Guerra (2-0) was solid on the mound, tossing six innings and allowing three earned off eight hits. The Diplomats' senior right-hander moved one step closer to the program's all-time wins record and is now just six shy of Ted Serro '06 after recording the 14th victory of his career. Cooper Mooney (0-2) was charged with the loss for Trinity, allowing five earned off eight hits in 4 2/3.
F&M outhit Trinity by 16-12 margin. Vincent led the way with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate, to go along with a pair of RBIs. Iacobucci tallied a 2-for-5 line at the cleanup spot, notching two runs and four RBIs, while Marano went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and RBIs. Poniros led off with a 3-for-5 line and two runs scored.
The defense was also solid for the Diplomats, turning four double plays on the day and not committing an error through nine innings.
F&M returns to action on Tuesday, hosting Lebanon Valley at Caplan Field for a 3:30 p.m. contest.