GRANTHAM, Pa. – A four-run first inning gave Franklin & Marshall's baseball team a lead it would not relinquish as the Diplomats downed Messiah by a 7-3 score on Wednesday afternoon. The win was the first of the season for F&M (1-3), while the Falcons fell to 3-4.
The Diplomats' offense stormed out of the gate in the top of the first with three hits, including a pair of doubles, which put Messiah in an early 4-0 hole. Matt Mezansky cleared the bases with a double to center field before Luke Seib hit a sacrifice fly to left that plated Mezansky.
Seib tacked on in the top of the third, reaching on an error that sent David Iacobucci home from third. The Eagles cut into the deficit with a two-RBI single down the left-field line in the bottom of the frame to make it a 5-2 game. The score held until the seventh when Messiah opened with a triple and scored off a groundout to second, pulling within two.
F&M added a pair of key insurance runs in the top of the ninth when Christopher Vincent registered a one-out walk before Tyler Daley and Casey Bulik followed with back-to-back singles that loaded the bases. Dan Marano stepped to the dish and singled through the right side to score a pair and put the contest out of reach for good.
Marano paced the offense with a 3-for-5 day at the plate to go along with two RBIs and two runs scored. Mezansky tallied a 1-for-3 line and notched three RBIs with one run scored. Adam Janney led Messiah with a 4-for-5 effort as the Falcons outhit the Diplomats by an 11-8 margin.
Freshman Jonathan Pesantez (1-0) earned his first career win in relief of starter Sam Ackerman. Pesantez came out of the 'pen to toss three scoreless innings and strike out a pair while Ackerman threw the opening three frames and was charged with two earned. Relievers Daniel Blugis and Andrew Mascis also recorded shutout frames for F&M.
Action continues for the Diplomats on Saturday when F&M travels to Catholic for a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m.