Diplomats Drop Pioneers

Diplomats Drop Pioneers

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall picked up a pair of wins over Transylvania in non-conference baseball action Sunday afternoon. The Diplomats defeated the Pioneers 9-2 in the first contest and took the nightcap 11-10 in extra innings at the Russ Matt Invitational. The victories are the first for F&M this season as they improved to 2-4. Transylvania fell to 2-3.

Blue Wells, Eric Bornstein and Andrew Conlan each picked up a pair of RBIs in the first game. Matt Will went 2-for-3 and crossed the plate three times. J.T. Triantos forced two walks, scoring on both occasions.

F&M jumped out to an early four-run lead in the first inning. The Pioneers managed a run in the third before the Diplomats answered with one of their in the fourth. The Diplomats tacked on three more in sixth. Will led off with a single to left field and advanced two bases on an error by the pitcher. Wells sent him home two batters later with an RBI double to right center. Bornstein's single plated Wells and Triantos for the final two runs of the frame.

The Pioneers added another run in the sixth and F&M countered with one in the top of the seventh.

Mike Duranti went the distance and picked up his first win of the season. Duranti struck out four and induced 11 ground outs while giving up only two runs.

Down a run, F&M used a two-out rally to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh and went on to win the nightcap in the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly by Will Benenson.

Mike Amabile knocked in three runs on 2-for-4 hitting while Russell Tischler and Benenson each collected two RBIs on their own.  Wells finished with a 3-for-4 performance from the plate with two runs scored and an RBI.

F&M led 9-6 before the Pioneers tacked on two runs in the top of the fifth. The runs came primarily due errors as both were unearned. Transylvania tacked on two more in the seventh to take a 10-9 lead.

Alex Vescera reach on a fielder's choice when Amabile was thrown out a second after reaching on single in the first at-bat of the frame. Aaron Gillette pinch ran for Vescera and stole second, giving F&M a runner in scoring position with one out. Gillette took third two batters later on a wild pitch and was brought home by Connor Devlin's single to tie the game.

After walking the first batter in the eighth, Justin Thacker retired the next three batters to set up the Diplomats' eighth.

Wells doubled to left field to start off the frame. Bornstein singled in the next plate appearance, giving F&M runners on first and third with no outs. Tischler received a free pass, loading the bases, and Benenson hit a sacrifice fly to right field for the game-winning RBI.

Thacker picked up the win. He allowed just one hit in 1.2 innings of work.

F&M continues its Spring Break trip with a double-header against St. Joseph's (Me.) tomorrow. The first game will start at 9:30 am followed by the second at 12 noon.