EWING, N.J. – Franklin & Marshall battled but was unable to match the offensive firepower of one of the nation's top teams, falling by scores of 10-5 and 9-1 against No. 17 TCNJ in a non-conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.
The pair of defeats dropped the Diplomats to 11-7 on the season while the Lions improved to 10-3.
Game one saw F&M fight back from a 3-1 deficit with three runs in the top of the seventh to pull ahead by one. Max Schwartz led off the inning with a double to right field. Later in the frame, Zachary Roberson registered a one-out, RBI single to left that plated Cory Hecht, before shortstop Justin Cavegn rounded out the scoring with a two-RBI single to left center.
TCNJ retook the advantage in the bottom of the inning with a two-RBI double to right field that gave the Lions a 5-4 edge. The Diplomats battled back again in the eighth with a Christopher Vincent sacrifice fly to centerfield that allowed David Iacobucci to score from third and knot the contest.
Five runs on three hits and a pair of costly infield errors allowed TCNJ to break the game open in the bottom of the eighth, before the Diplomats went down in order to close out the ninth.
Cavegn was 2-for-5 with two RBIs at the leadoff spot and Roberson went 2-for-4 with an RBI and one run scored, as F&M combined for eight hits. The Lions produced 13 total hits and were led by catcher C.J. Gearhart with a 2-for-3 line, to go along with three runs scored and two walks.
Reliever Andrew Mascis (2-2) was charged with the loss after allowing two earned in one inning of action. Matt Curry (5-0) garnered the win for the Lions with 1 2/3 shutout frames and a pair of strikeouts.
Game two saw the Diplomats struggle offensively as F&M fell behind by a 5-0 score heading into the fifth. Vincent led off the top of the frame with a double to left center before Kyle Ebert followed with an RBI single to left field that allowed Vincent to cross home plate get the Diplomats' first run on the board.
The lone tally was all F&M managed to gather in the frame and did little to slow down TCNJ's momentum as the Lions put the game out of reach for good with a four-run seventh inning.
Starter Jack Buckley (1-2) suffered the loss after allowing three earned on seven hits in five innings on the mound. Michael Fischer (3-0) remained unbeaten on the season by striking out six and allowing one earned in seven innings of work.
Iacobucci registered a multi-hit effort with a 2-for-3 line to go along with one walk. The Lions notched 12 hits on the day including a pair of triples.
Non-conference action continues for the Diplomats on Tuesday when F&M welcomes Messiah to town for a 3:30 p.m. game. Weather permitting, the contest is currently scheduled to take place at Clipper Magazine Stadium, home of the Lancaster Barnstormers.