WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Brendan DeMond delivered a sterling complete-game outing in the opener of Franklin & Marshall's doubleheader split with Mount Union on Monday at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. The Diplomats (3-4) took the first game 2-1 behind the arm of DeMond, while the Raiders (3-1) captured game two 7-3.
DeMond (1-1) looked sharp from the get-go as he carried a one-hitter into the fifth frame. The senior righthander fanned nine batters throughout his seven innings on the mound, allowing just four runners to reach scoring position and walking only one batter.
After a scoreless first three frames, the Diplomats broke the deadlock with a pair of scores in the top of the fourth. Kevin Shields and Avery Attinson earned back-to-back walks to begin the inning, and Matt Mezansky's infield bunt single forced errant throw towards first that allowed Shields to score.
Later in the inning, with one out, Pat Andrews chopped a grounder to the left side of the infield that scored Attinson from third to give F&M a 2-0 edge.
The Raiders threatened with two outs in the bottom of the fifth as Justin Jakubik and Ricky Olasz registered consecutive hits to put runners on second and third, but DeMond made his way out of the jam by forcing an infield grounder for the third out.
Zach Carlino's two-out RBI single in the sixth pulled Mount Union within a 2-1 deficit, but the Raiders would get no closer as DeMond struck out C.J. Stotler to end the sixth and retired the side in order in the seventh to secure the victory for F&M.
Mezansky paced F&M at the plate in game one with a 2-for-3 performance, while Patrick Andrews notched an RBI.
In game two, the Diplomats jumped out to a 1-0 lead off a solo homer from Will Benenson in the first, but the Raiders put together a five-run second and added on two more scores in the third to push out to a 7-1 edge, and the Diplomats were unable to recover from the deficit.
Strong shutout relief performances from Chris Mathewson (0.2 innings) and Danny Swad (4.0 innings) kept F&M within striking distance, but the Diplomats didn't produce enough timely hitting to climb back into the contest.
Benenson led F&M in game two with a 2-for-4 line, a homer, and two RBIs, while Shields went 2-for-2 and Attinson notched an RBI.
Tom Bekelesky earned the win on the mound in the nightcap for the Raiders, tossing 4.1 innings and allowing seven hits and three earned runs while striking out three.
Anthony Morino went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored for Mount Union, while Evan Knott went 3-for-4 and score twice.
F&M returns to the diamond tomorrow against New Jersey City at 1:00 p.m.