Diplomats Open Season With Pair of Shutouts

Diplomats Open Season With Pair of Shutouts

FROSTPROOF, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team swept Gallaudet in a doubleheader by a 17-0 score in game one, before following with a 3-0 shutout in the nightcap on Sunday afternoon at the Russmatt Central Florida Invitational. The Diplomats improved to 2-0 on the year, while the Bisons fell to 0-7. 

Ahead 2-0 in the opening contest, a six-run second inning, including a two-run homer from Mike Smeriglio, blew the game wide open. F&M followed with a trio of three-run innings for the lopsided victory, which included 17 hits and four walks. 

Smeriglio led the way with a 4-for-5 showing at the plate to go along with four RBIs and four runs. Third baseman Matt Mezansky tallied a 2-for-4 line, with two extra-base hits including a fifth-inning two-run homer, and a team-leading five RBIs. Brett Poniros went 2-for-3 at the leadoff spot with three runs and a pair of stolen bases.

Sam Ackerman (1-0) earned the win after tossing six innings, allowing only five hits and striking out three batters. His counterpart Dylan Hayes (1-0) was charged with the loss after allowing 11 earned off 13 hits in 4 2/3 innings on the mound. 

In the second contest, freshman Mike Androconis (1-0) got his first collegiate nod and didn't disappoint, carrying a no-hit bid into the sixth inning. The right-hander from Westfield, N.J. threw a complete-game shutout, surrendering only two hits, while walking one and striking out three. 

Knotted at 0-0 in the top of the second, Poniros lined a single to left, scoring Casey Bulik from second.  The Diplomats padded their lead in the next frame, when a Luke Seib sacrifice fly to left field plated Mezansky from third, before Smeriglio scored from third on a passed ball later in the inning, to pull ahead by a 3-0 tally. 

Still clinging to a three-run lead in the bottom of the sixth, Androconis faced a jam with runners on first and third with one out. The Bisons stepped to the plate squared for the bunt, but lined out to Androconis on the mound, who turned and fired to Mezansky at third, to complete the inning-ending double play.

The Diplomats combined for nine hits, compared to a pair from Gallaudet. Mezansky and Zachary Roberson paced the offense with two hits apiece.

Ian Evans (0-1) was solid in the loss for the Bisons, tossing all seven innings and allowing one earned off nine hits while striking out six. 

F&M returns to action tomorrow, facing off against Grinnell in a doubleheader beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Winter Haven, Fla.