ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team held off an Elizabethtown rally to down the Blue Jays by a 5-3 score in non-conference competition on Thursday afternoon.
The Diplomats, who have won 10 out of their last 11 contests, improved to 11-5 while Elizabethtown fell to 7-6.
F&M struck first in the bottom of the second. Kyle Ebert and Max Schwartz led off with back-to-back singles, before a Zachary Roberson sacrifice bunt placed runners on second and third with one out. Kevin Lammers put the opening run on the board with a grounder to second that plated Ebert and made the score 1-0.
Starting pitcher Sam Ackerman went the first three innings without surrendering a hit for the Diplomats before the Blue Jays evened the score in the fourth with three hits that culminated with a two-out RBI single to knot the game at 1-1.
In the top of the next frame, F&M broke the game open with three runs on three hits, including a two-RBI double down the leftfield line from first baseman David Iacobucci, to put the Diplomats ahead 4-1.
Iacobucci increased the F&M advantage to 5-1 with an insurance run in the seventh, collecting his second double of the day with a shot to left center that allowed Brian Meerholz to come home from third.
The Blue Jays hung around by adding two runs in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out, two-RBI single from left fielder Mike Christy. However, reliever Luke Bengel came out of the bullpen and forced a fly ball to center field that ended the threat.
Ackerman (1-0) earned the win after tossing five innings and allowing just one earned on three hits. Four relievers combined to finish out the final four frames, allowing just two earned and striking out five. Danny Blugis registered the save by tossing a scoreless ninth.
Despite the close score, F&M outhit Elizabethtown by a 12-4 margin. Iacobucci led the charge with a 3-for-5 effort, notching two doubles and three RBIs. Meerholz tallied a 2-for-3 line with two runs scored, and Swartz was 2-for-4 on the day.
The Diplomats continue non-conference competition on Saturday, traveling to No. 17 TCNJ for a doubleheader that begins at 11:30 a.m.