Diplomats Win, Tie Garnet to Close Season

Diplomats Win, Tie Garnet to Close Season

SWARTHMORE, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team wrapped up its regular season on Saturday with a 5-4 win in game one of a Centennial Conference (CC) doubleheader against Swarthmore before playing to its first tie since 2010 with a 3-3 (13 innings) decision in the nightcap.

Game two was called due to darkness. With the pair of results, the Diplomats closed out the 2016 season with a 16-20-1, 7-10-1 record while the Garnet ended at 22-17-1, 6-11-1 CC. 

In game one, F&M scored first when a Luke Seib sacrifice fly RBI in the top of the third sent Ryan Obrecht across the plate for the 1-0 lead. Mike Smeriglio followed with an RBI single to center field that scored Tyler Daley from third. 

Brett Poniros tacked on to the Diplomat advantage in the top of the fifth with a two-out RBI single to left field, scoring David Iacobucci from third. F&M made it a 4-0 game in the top of the seventh after Iacobucci led off with a double to center field before stealing third. Smeriglio followed by reaching on an infield error that allowed Iacobucci to once again cross home plate.

Swarthmore mounted a comeback in the bottom of the frame, tallying three runs on four hits and an F&M error to pull within one.  Senior captain Matt Mezansky added some insurance in the eighth, registering a sacrifice fly RBI to plate Jimmy Whelan, who led off with a triple to center, and giving the Diplomats a two-run lead.

After a passed ball from the Diplomats with runners on second and third allowed a Garnet run to cross the plate in the bottom of the eighth, reliever Gareth Fancher entered in the ninth to toss a scoreless frame for his first save of the season. 

Mack Glavin (3-3) earned the win with seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and striking out six. Nathan Booth (5-5) was charged the loss, allowing two earned off 13 hits in eight innings of work. 

Iacobucci led the attack with a 4-for-5 effort to go along with two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases while Casey Bulik and Poniros both recorded 2-for-5 lines. Despite the close score, F&M outhit Swarthmore by a 15-6 margin. 

In the nightcap, the score was deadlocked at 2-2 in the top of the 13th when a Bulik RBI single to center field scored Iacobucci for the go-ahead run. However, Swarthmore forced the tie by scoring from third on a wild pitch. 

The Diplomats jumped in front early when Poniros laid down a sacrifice bunt with Smeriglio on third to pull in front 1-0 in the top of the second. Later in the frame, Reed Williams reached on an infield error to plate Bulik and make the score 2-0.

In the bottom of the third, the Garnet cut the deficit to one with a groundout to short that sent a runner home from third and knotted the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single to center field. 

Andrew Mascis started on the mound for the first time in his career and allowed just one earned off five hits in six innings of work. Relievers Bobby Gaston, Fancher, Daniel Blugis, Luke Bengel and Thomas Kelly combined to toss seven innings and surrendered just one earned. 

Tyler Daley was solid from the leadoff position with a 2-for-5 showing while Bulik went 2-for-6 with one run scored and an RBI. 

Mezansky closed out his historic career with a hit in each game to bring his all-time total to 171, just two short of the program record held by J.T. Triantos '12 and Gary Kruger '06. He also joined Will Benenson '14 as the only players in program history to record 100 runs and 100 RBIs. Seib also wrapped up his illustrious career as one of the Diplomats most sure-handed fielders. F&M's first baseman registered a .989 fielding percentage throughout his time in Lancaster, good for the eighth-best all time.