LANCASTER, Pa. – Brett Poniros went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot, centerfielder Tyler Daley scored three runs and starting pitcher Eric Bateman continued his early season dominance as Franklin & Marshall's baseball team rolled past Arcadia on Sunday afternoon at Caplan Field by a 5-1 score.
The non-conference victory improved the Diplomats' strong start to 2015 with an 11-4 mark, while the Knights fell to 7-4.
F&M got the scoring underway in the bottom of the first when third baseman Matt Mezansky singled through the right side, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball with just one out. Dan Marano stepped to the dish and hit a roller to the left side of the infield, which was misplayed by Arcadia's shortstop and enough to allow Mezansky to cross the plate for the 1-0 lead.
The Knights answered in the top of the third, when an error from the Diplomats' centerfielder, with a runner on second and two outs, proved costly and knotted the score at 1-1. F&M reclaimed the lead in the fifth, pulling ahead by a 2-1 tally, when a wild pitch with runners on first and third allowed Daley to advance home.
Poniros added some insurance in the seventh, putting F&M ahead by two with an RBI single up the middle to score Daley, who opened the frame with a double to left field. Daley continued to pepper his name throughout the score sheet in the eighth, putting down a bunt that was thrown away by Arcadia's pitcher, and enough to score Chris Vincent from second for the 4-1 lead. Poniros wrapped up the scoring in the next at-bat, lacing a single to center field to plate Daley for the four-run lead.
Bateman (2-0) earned the victory after tossing six innings, striking out six and allowing just two hits and zero earned runs. The Diplomats' bullpen was clutch once again as Chris Mathewson, Chris Haylon and Andrew Mascis combined for three innings of shutout ball. The Knights' Michael Ferrence (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing one earned off three hits in 4 2/3 innings of work.
Poniros paced the offense at the leadoff spot with a 3-for-4 effort to go along with one RBI, while Daley went 1-for-2 and scored three runs on the afternoon. Arcadia's first baseman Andonis Yiantsos collected a pair of the Knights' six hits with a 2-for-4 effort from the leadoff spot.
F&M returns to Centennial Conference (CC) action on Tuesday, hosting Gettysburg at Clipper Magazine Stadium, home of the Lancaster Barnstormers, at 3:30 p.m. It will mark the first of two contests the Diplomats will play at the stadium this season, also facing off against Ursinus on Friday, April 10.