GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Franklin & Marshall baseball team opened its 2014 season with a back-and-forth 14-9 victory on Saturday afternoon in non-conference action. The Diplomats sit at 1-0, while Guilford fell to 6-4.
The Quakers jumped out in front with an early 4-0 lead after tagging F&M for four hits in the first, which included a pair of doubles in the frame. The Diplomats answered in resounding fashion, putting eight runs on the board off of eight hits in the top of the second.
Will Benenson and Joe Gallitto opened the inning with back-to-back singles before Pat Andrews reached on an error to load the bases. Luke Seib followed with a two RBI single before Brett Poniros stepped up to the plate and laced a two RBI single of his own to center.
Rob Anderson and Matt Mezansky continued the onslaught with RBI singles before Benenson doubled to left field to plate his second runner of the inning and Gallitto wrapped up the scoring with his second hit of the stanza, an RBI single to right field that scored Benenson.
Guilford cut into the deficit with an RBI single in the bottom of the second to make it an 8-5 game and continued the comeback bid with a bases-clearing grand slam in the bottom of the fourth to take the 9-8 lead.
However, F&M responded once again when Anderson scored two off a single up the middle in the top of the fifth to put the score in favor of the Diplomats at 10-9. F&M held onto the lead from there on out, adding three more runs in the top of the seventh off an RBI single from Casey Bulik and a two RBI double from Mezansky, before tacking on another run in the ninth to cap off the scoring.
F&M tallied 19 hits on the afternoon, compared to 17 from the Quakers. Gallitto led the way with a 4-for-6 effort, while reigning Centennial Conference (CC) Rookie of the Year Mezansky went 3-for-6 with four RBIs. Anderson went 3-for-5 from the leadoff position and scored three runs while tallying three RBIs.
Alex Guerra (1-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Sean Cosgriff. Guerra entered the action in the fifth and shutdown Guildford, allowing seven hits and no runs in four innings of work. John Todd (1-1) was charged with the loss after surrendering three runs on five hits in 3.1 innings on the mound.
The Diplomats return to the field tomorrow for an 11:00 a.m. meeting with Case Western Reserve. The non-conference tilt once again takes place in Greensboro, N.C., hosted by Guilford.