Diplomats Take Comeback Thriller, Drop Nightcap

Diplomats Take Comeback Thriller, Drop Nightcap

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Franklin & Marshall scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to overcome a one-run deficit and down Clarkson, 6-4, in the doubleheader opener, before falling 5-3 in the nightcap in a pair of seven-inning spring break baseball contests on Friday. The Diplomats are now 7-6 with the split, while the Golden Knights begin the year at 1-1.

Trailing 4-3 heading into the seventh and final frame of game one, F&M put together a three-run rally to take its first lead of the game. Josh Mendelson came out swinging on the first pitch and ripped a leadoff double to deep left field to put the tying run in scoring position. Andrew Conlan then notched an RBI single through the right side that scored pinch-runner Tyler Veterano and evened things up at 4-4.

Alex Vescera and Aaron Gillette followed with back-to-back triples to give the Diplomats a two-run advantage heading into the bottom half of the frame. Vescera's three-base knock down the third base line rolled all the way to the fence in left and plated pinch-runner Mike Giannone, while Gillette blasted his to the gap in right center, allowing Vescera to touch home.

In the bottom of the seventh, Paul Giulio earned his fourth save of the year with a shutout inning to close out the victory. Chris Mathewson (1-0) picked up the win for F&M after pitching a scoreless sixth with two strikeouts. Brendan DeMond tossed the first five innings for the Diplomats, striking out four batters.

The Diplomats got on the board first in the second game with a single tally in the opening inning. Gillette reached the base paths with a leadoff walk, and sped his way to third on a sacrifice bunt from J.T. Triantos. Gillette's hustle around the bases paid off, as an errant throw to third sailed over Clarkson's third baseman's head and the junior made his way home to give F&M the 1-0 edge.

The Golden Knights tallied two scores in the second and tacked on three more in the fourth to take a 5-1 advantage. The Diplomats finally got the bats going in the sixth as they managed to plate two and pull within 5-3. Kevin Shields and Connor Devlin each registered RBIs in the frame, but it was too little, too late as Clarkson pulled out the win.

Brett Klatsky (0-1) took the loss for F&M in game two in his first career start. The freshman surrendered five runs and struck out two in 4.1 innings of work.

David Kinney (1-0) secured the complete-game win on the mound for the Golden Knights, allowing just four hits and fanning five.

Triantos and Conlan tallied a team-high three hits on the day, while Vescera notched a team-high two RBIs, both coming in game one.

Kinney went 7-for-7 with three runs scored throughout the twinbill to lead the way for Clarkson, while John Coleman went 5-for-7 with two RBIs.

F&M closes out its spring break trip with a doubleheader against Anna Maria. Game one is set for 2:00 pm.

Franklin & Marshall 6, Clarkson 4 (Mar 16, 2012 at Winter Haven, Fla.) (Game 1)
Franklin & Marshall. 003 000 3 -  6 13  0      (7-5)
Clarkson............ 012 010 0 -  4 10  3      (0-1)
Pitchers: Franklin & Marshall - Brendan DeMond; Chris Mathewson(6); Paul Giulio(7) and Josh Mendelson; Patrick Andrews. Clarkson - Bryan Chudy; Jarrod Mattingly(3) and Tim Beninati; Matt Jenack.

Win-Chris Mathewson (1-0) 

Save-Paul Giulio (4) 

Loss-Jarrod Mattingly (0-1) 

Clarkson 5, Franklin & Marshall 3 (Mar 16, 2012 at Winter Haven, Fla.) (Game 2)
Clarkson............ 020 030 0 -  5 15  2      (1-1)
Franklin & Marshall. 100 002 0 -  3  4  1      (7-6)
Pitchers: Clarkson - David Kinney and Kolby Ziemendorf. Franklin & Marshall - Brett Klatsky; Chris Haylon(5); Collin McCune(7) and Patrick Andrews.

Win-David Kinney (1-0) 

Loss-Brett Klatsky (0-1)