WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team survived a late surge from Oneonta St. on Sunday afternoon to close out its spring break trip with a 12-10 victory. The non-conference tilt improved the Diplomats' record to 7-6 on the year while the Red Dragons fell to 3-7.
F&M went 5-4 over the course of the week at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
After a scoreless first, the Diplomats surged out in front with a 6-0 lead following an impressive offensive performance in the top of the second that included seven singles in the frame.
Oneonta answered with an RBI single of its own in the bottom of the frame to cut the gap to five, however F&M continued to pile on the runs when a Rob Anderson single up the middle and a Matt Mezansky sacrifice fly to right highlighted a two-run inning to make it an 8-1 contest.
The seven-run advantage was short lived as the Red Dragons kept the pressure on the Diplomats with three runs off three hits in the bottom of the frame to come within four.
Back-to-back sacrifice fly RBIs in the top of the fourth from Luke Seib and Brett Poniros pushed the lead to six for F&M at 10-4 and after a three-up, three-down bottom of the frame; another sacrifice fly from Mezansky in the fifth pushed the lead to 11-4.
Oneonta still was not willing to go away easily as a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, followed by one run off three hits in the following inning made the score 11-7.
David Iacobucci stepped to the plate in the top of the seventh and provided some insurance with a home run to left field, the first of his career, to give F&M the five-run cushion.
The Red Dragons once again made things interesting with three runs off a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly in the eighth to cut the lead down to two at 12-10.
However, Andrew Green entered the contest in the ninth and shut down Oneonta's offense with a pair of strikeouts and a pop fly to second base to end the contest, earning his third save of the season.
Gareth Fancher (1-0) entered the contest in relief of starter Sean Cosgriff and pitched 1.2 innings to grab his first win of the season. The Red Dragons' starter, Mickey Silberfeld (0-1), was charged with the loss after surrendering eight earned off 11 hits in three innings of work.
Poniros paced the offense with a 4-for-4 day at the plate to go along with two steals and a pair of runs. Anderson, Brian Erb, Joe Gallitto and Seib each notched two hits on the day. Catcher Billy Reidel led Oneonta at the plate with 3-for-4 effort.
The Diplomats return to action on Thursday when F&M plays host to York at 3:30 p.m.