LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team dropped a twin bill against TCNJ by scores of 6-1 (7 innings) and 17-11 (11 innings) in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at Caplan Field.
The pair of decisions moved the Diplomats' record to 7-10 while the Lions, who received top-25 votes in the latest national poll, improved to 13-1.
In game one, F&M failed to figure out TCNJ starter Steven Volpe (3-0) until the deficit was too big to overcome. Volpe tossed all seven games, allowing one earned off seven hits and striking out two. The Diplomats' lone run came in the bottom of the seventh, and down 7-0, when Brian Meerholz singled home Matt Mezansky from third.
The Lions scored early and often, taking a 4-0 lead midway through the game with an RBI single in the first, followed by a two-RBI single in the second and an RBI double in the third. TCNJ tacked on in the top of the fifth by sending a runner across home plate off a sacrifice bunt and adding insurance in the seventh with a two-out RBI single to center field.
Starter Mike Androconis (2-2) was charged with the loss after allowing five earned on nine hits in five innings of work. The Diplomats were outhit by a 13-7 margin and stranded six base runners in the contest.
Game two was wild throughout with multiple lead changes and sloppy play in the field. The team's combined for 34 hits and 12 errors, while the Diplomats left 16 on base compared to 13 from TCNJ.
F&M led 8-5 heading into the sixth when the Lions put together a three-run frame off two hits and a pair of costly errors to knot the contest. A two-out, bases-loaded walk from Jimmy Whelan in the bottom of the eighth put the advantage back in the Diplomats' hand. However, TCNJ rallied in the ninth. The Lions opened with a leadoff triple to right center and followed with an RBI single to left that forced extras.
In the 10th, TCNJ went ahead by an 11-9 score with a pair of run-scoring singles, but F&M answered with a rally of its own when back-back clutch RBI singles from Whelan and Reed Williams tied the game at 11-11.
The Lions put the contest out of reach with a six-run top of the 11th, scoring their runs off three hits and two of the Diplomats' nine errors in the game.
Reliever Tim Costello (0-1) was dealt the loss after allowing five earned off two hits and three walks. Matt Curry (1-0) tossed 2 2/3 frames to pick up the win for TCNJ.
Non-conference competition continues for F&M on Monday when the Diplomats host York for a 3:30 p.m. matchup. The game is currently scheduled to take place at Clipper Magazine Stadium, home of the Lancaster Barnstormers.