AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall overcame a late rally from Greenville on Tuesday afternoon to hold on for the narrow 7-6 win in non-conference baseball action. The Diplomats' record improved to 5-3 on the year while the Panthers fell to 2-3.
With F&M ahead 6-2 going into the top of the eighth, Greenville tallied three runs off three hits to narrow the margin to one at 6-5. Center fielder Rob Anderson added a key insurance run in the bottom of the frame to push the lead to 7-5 when he doubled to left center, scoring Casey Bulik from first.
In the top of the ninth, the Panthers first two batters went down in order until a Tim Osborne opposite-field home run kept hope alive for Greenville. After an error and a walk placed runners on first and second with two outs, reliever Andrew Green forced a flyout to left field to pick up his first save of the year and preserve the victory for the Diplomats.
F&M's offense got on the board early in the contest when a Joe Gallitto walk loaded the bases with two outs. An error by Greenville's first baseman in the next at bat allowed Avery Attinson to cross the plate from third for the 1-0 lead.
Anderson sent Brett Poniros home with a groundout in the bottom of the fourth, followed by a Gallitto sacrifice fly and an RBI single from Poniros in the next frame, to push the advantage to 4-0.
Greenville fought back to make it 4-2 with a pair of runs off three hits in the top of the sixth before a Gallitto RBI single and an Iacobucci sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh made it 6-2.
Eric Bateman (1-0) earned the win after going six innings and allowing only two earned while striking out four. The Panthers' C.J. Opp (0-1) took the loss and was charged with one earned off seven hits in five innings on the mound.
Anderson was solid from the leadoff spot, putting together a 3-for-5 line that included a pair of RBIs, while three other Diplomats; Matt Mezansky (2-for-4), Gallitto (2-for-2) and Poniros (2-for-4) recorded multiple hits on the day.
Osborne led Greenville's offense with a home run and a triple in the contest, producing a 2-for-4 line to go along with three runs and a pair of RBIs.
Both teams stranded nine runners, while F&M outhit Greenville at 11-10.
The Diplomats continue their spring break trip tomorrow with a meeting against Vassar at 10:15 a.m.