Diplomats Take Two From Red Devils; Extend Winning Streak to Seven

Diplomats Take Two From Red Devils; Extend Winning Streak to Seven

LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team earned a pair of closely-contested Centennial Conference (CC) wins on Saturday afternoon at Caplan Field, surviving Dickinson by a 3-1 score in game one and a 6-4 tally in the nightcap. The Diplomats have now won seven consecutive games and sit at 22-7, 10-4 CC, while the Red Devils continue to slide in the conference standings, falling to 10-9-1, 4-9-1 CC.

With just four CC contests left on the regular-season schedule, F&M remains firmly in second place, behind only Johns Hopkins who leads the way with a 9-3-1 mark. 

Reliever Andrew Mascis closed out both games on the day for his fifth and sixth saves of the season, tying the program's single-season record, originally established in 1988 by Mark Osowick. Pete Maki (2004) and Alex Vescera (2013) also tallied six saves for the Diplomats. 

Christopher Vincent got the scoring underway in the opening game, sending a two-out double down the left field line that plated Mike Smeriglio from second. F&M tacked on in the bottom of the fourth when Dan Marano singled home Smeriglio from second for the 2-0 advantage. 

Dickinson opened the next two frames with leadoff singles but was unable to capitalize. Poor fielding in the bottom of the sixth hurt the Red Devils when Luke Seib reached on a throwing error by Dickinson's third baseman to open the inning. Seib advanced to second off a failed pickoff attempt, before David Iacobucci plated him later in the frame with an RBI single to left field. 

In the top of the ninth, the Red Devils made things interesting by singling home a run to cut the deficit to two, before Mascis ended the contest by notching a swinging strikeout. 

Mack Glavin (5-1) was strong throughout, tossing seven innings of shutout ball, while striking out two and allowing just five hits. Dickinson's Garrett Kurtz (3-5) suffered the loss despite tossing all eight innings and allowing two earned. 

Six batters each tallied a hit for the Diplomats, led by Smeriglio in a 1-for-2 effort that included a pair of runs scored.  The Red Devils combined for eight hits on the afternoon, and were paced by leadoff hitter Ryan Dolan (2-for-3, 1 BB). 

Game two again started out as a pitcher's dual as the Diplomats led by a narrow 1-0 score heading into the bottom of the sixth. Brett Poniros reached first in the frame off a throwing error from Dickinson's third baseman, before a Marano single put runners on first and third with no outs. Seib continued to swing a hot bat, doubling down the left field line to score Poniros, before Smeriglio followed with an RBI single to right field that sent Marano across the plate. Iacobucci wrapped up the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right field, making it 4-0 F&M.

The Red Devils quickly responded with three runs off two hits and an error to pull within one. In the bottom of the eighth, the Diplomats added a pair of key insurance runs when a bases loaded balk sent Seib across home and a Matt Mezansky RBI groundout scored Seib from third. Dickinson tallied an RBI single in the ninth to cut it to two, but struck out swinging in its last at-bat to end the contest. 

Freshman Mike Androconis (4-2) picked up the win, pitching out of jams throughout his seven innings on the mound and allowing three earned while striking out five. Chris Mathewson threw a scoreless frame in his second appearance of the afternoon, before Mascis entered in the ninth to pick up his program-tying save. 

Marano went 2-for-4 with one run scored, while Seib tallied a 2-for-4 line of his own to go along with a pair of runs scored and one RBI. Catcher Rick Hopkins led Dickinson with a 2-for-4 effort, one run scored and one RBI. 

F&M returns to the field tomorrow, facing York on the road in non-conference action at 2:00 p.m.