LANCASTER, Pa. – Starting pitcher Alex Guerra dominated in a complete game shutout as the Franklin & Marshall baseball team took game one by a 6-0 score against Johns Hopkins, before falling by a 4-1 tally in the nightcap of Saturday's Centennial Conference (CC) double header at Caplan Field.
With the split decision, the Diplomats moved to 13-6, 3-3 CC on the year, while the Blue Jays now sit at 11-7-1, 3-2-1 CC.
In the opening contest, F&M jumped out in front with a five-run third frame, capitalizing on four Johns Hopkins' errors in a wild inning that put the Diplomats ahead for good. Dan Marano, Christopher Vincent, David Iacobucci, Luke Seib and Matt Mezansky all crossed home plate in the frame.
Mike Smeriglio tacked on to the lead in the eighth, sending a pinch hit single to left field, scoring Tyler Daley from third. The Blue Jays had opportunities to get on the scoreboard throughout the game, however a combination of the Diplomats' solid defense, which turned three double plays in the contest, and a lights out pitching performance from Guerra, was enough for the shutout.
Guerra (3-0) tossed all nine frames, allowing just four hits and striking out three. Nick Burns (1-1) was dealt with the loss despite not being charged with an earned run as Johns Hopkins totaled seven errors in the game. Iacobucci and Vincent paced the offense with a pair of hits apiece, as F&M combined for 10.
In game two of Saturday afternoon's twin bill, the Blue Jays struck first with a trio of singles in the opening inning to register the early 1-0 lead. Starting pitcher Mike Androconis (3-1) limited the damage, forcing a pair of fly outs to end the frame with runners on first and third and only one out.
F&M was kept off the board until the bottom of the seventh when a Mezansky double to right field, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Vincent gave the Diplomats a runner on third with just one out. During the next at-bat, Mezansky was nearly caught in a pickoff when a pitch in was thrown to third by the Blue Jays' catcher, however the junior captain managed to elude a tag at the plate for a rare steal of home to tie the game.
The even score was short lived as Johns Hopkins answered with three runs off three hits in the top of the eighth to jump ahead at 4-1.
Androconis took the loss, despite striking out seven and allowing just three earned in 7 1/3 innings of work. Jacob Enterlin (2-1) was solid for the Blue Jays, tossing all nine frames and striking out seven while allowing eight hits.
Seib paced the offense with a 2-for-4 effort for F&M, while Conor Reynolds, Colin McCarthy and Mike Smith all recorded a pair of hits on the afternoon for Johns Hopkins.
The Diplomats return to action on Tuesday, traveling to CC-opponent Ursinus for a 3:30 p.m. competition.