AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team rolled to a dominant 12-2 (8 innings) win over Rhodes on Friday afternoon to continue play at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. The non-conference tilt in Auburndale improved the Diplomats' record to 6-4 on the year, while the Lynx fell to 14-5.
F&M's offense wasted little time getting on the board when Rob Anderson and Matt Mezansky opened the contest with back-to-back singles. Joe Gallitto got Anderson home from third with a two-out grounder to put the Diplomats in front at 1-0.
Rhodes quickly answered in the bottom half of the frame to tie up the game at 1-1, but a Brian Erb single down the leftfield line in the fourth scored Brett Poniros from third and once again handed a one-run advantage to F&M.
Two runs off a pair of hits in the bottom of the fifth tacked onto the lead for the Diplomats as a Mezansky double to right field and a Pat Andrews single to left made it a 4-1 score.
F&M's offense kept its foot on the gas pedal in the following inning as an Erb triple, followed by a Casey Bulik single scored a pair of runs. Anderson wrapped up the scoring in the frame by singling to center and later scoring on a wild pitch.
Erb continued his monstrous day in the bottom of the seventh with a double down the right field line to score Luke Seib and Ponioros, before three more runs off three hits and a pair of errors forced the mercy rule in the eighth and handed the Diplomats a 10-run win.
Alex Guerra (3-0) remained perfect on the year with a solid effort on the mound, tossing six innings and allowing only one earned while striking out eight Lynx batters. Chris Mathewson closed out the contest with two innings of work that included three strikeouts.
Daniel Morris (3-2) was charged with the loss after allowing six earned off 11 hits in 5.1 innings.
Erb went 3-for-3 at the plate and collected four RBIs off a pair of extra-base hits. Seib earned a 3-for-5 line to go along with two runs and an RBI, while Mezansky went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs and an RBI. Benenson (2-for-4), Anderson (2-for-4) and Poniros (2-for-5) all registered multiple hits.
The Diplomats combined for 17 hits while running wild on the base paths with six steals; Poniros led the way with a pair.
F&M returns to action tomorrow when the Diplomats face off against Oswego State in a double header that begins at 1:30 p.m. in Winter Haven.