Diplomats Battle Back to Down Bears

Diplomats Battle Back to Down Bears

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team secured a key Centennial Conference (CC) victory on Tuesday, battling back from an early two-run hole to down Ursinus by a 4-2 score. The contest, which moved the Diplomats to 14-6, 4-3 CC and the Bears to 12-6, 2-3 CC was called in the top of the ninth due to rain. 

Ursinus came out firing, opening the game with a two-run solo homer to right field in the bottom of the first for the quick 1-0 advantage. The Bears tacked on in the second, putting runners on first and second with one out, on a pair of singles in the frame. A wild pitch advanced runners to second and third, before an error from F&M's third baseman allowed a run to cross home plate for the 2-0 Ursinus lead. 

Starting pitcher Sean Cosgriff went into cruise control from there, shutting down the Bears' attack and keeping the Diplomats within striking distance. F&M took over in the fifth when Dan Marano opened the inning with a double to left field, followed by a Luke Seib RBI double, plating Marano and cutting the deficit to one. 

After a popup to second, Brett Poniros and Mike Smeriglio followed with F&M's third and fourth double of the frame, each notching an RBI with their extra-base hits to make it a 3-2 Diplomat lead. 

Ursinus threatened in the bottom of the seventh, opening the inning with back-to-back singles, before a successful sacrifice bunt sent runners to second and third with just one out on the board. Reliever Andrew Mascis entered the game for Cosgriff and struck out the first batter he faced, before getting the Bears to line out to short to retire the side. 

In the following frame, F&M rode the momentum and added some insurance with some clutch two-out hitting, tallying three straight singles from Brian Erb, Matt Mezansky and an RBI shot to center from Marano to take the 4-2 lead. With the Diplomats up to the plate in the top of the ninth, and threating with Brett Poniros on second with one out, rain finally caused play to stop. 

Cosgriff (3-0) continued to be one of the Diplomats' most reliable starters as the lefty went 6 1/3, allowing just one earned and striking out a pair. Mascis pitched 1 2/3 frames, striking out one and surrendering just one hit for his second save of the season. Seth Regensburg (1-1) suffered the defeat, allowing three earned off seven hits in seven innings on the mound. 

Poniros (2-for-5) and Smeriglio (2-for-3) paced the offense at the top of F&M's order, with each registering an RBI in the contest. Each of Poniros' hits were doubles, while Marano and Seib both recorded two of the Diplomats' 10 hits on the day. As a team, F&M collected five doubles and swiped three bags with Poniros once again leading the charge with a pair. 

The Diplomats return to action tomorrow, facing off against Rutgers-Newark at 3:30 p.m. F&M's non-conference matchup is set to take place at Clipper Magazine Stadium, home of the Lancaster Barnstormers.