WESTMINSTER, Md. – Following a hard-fought 2-1 loss in 12 innings to open Centennial Conference (CC) action on Saturday afternoon against McDaniel, the Franklin & Marshall baseball team followed with an offensive outburst in a five-run seventh inning to secure a 10-4 victory in the nightcap, earning a split in Westminster, Md. The Diplomats moved to 10-4, 1-1 CC with the pair of decisions, while the Green Terror now sit at 7-6, 1-1 CC.
In the opening contest, F&M fell behind by an early 1-0 score in the first, when a leadoff single to right center eventually netted McDaniel the quick lead. Following Sean Sivo's hit to open action in the frame, a groundout to the Diplomats' pitcher put him in scoring position with just one out. Sivo followed by stealing third, before Marty Windisch stepped to the place and laced an RBI single through the right side.
Both teams struggled to produce any offense until the Diplomats finally got on the board in the top of the sixth. Reigning CC Player of the Week Dan Marano opened the inning with a single to right center, before Matt Mezansky advanced him to second with a groundout back to the pitcher. Mike Smeriglio stepped to the plate and came up with an RBI single to score Marano and knot the contest at 1-1.
Starting pitcher Alex Guerra was dominant throughout for F&M, tossing nine innings and allowing just one earned off six hits while striking out seven. Mack Glavin came out of the bullpen in the bottom of the 10th to relieve Guerra and pitched himself into a jam, putting runners on first and second with just one out. However, the Diplomats' sophomore right hander came up with a pair of huge outs, forcing a lineout to left and retiring the side by getting a Green Terror batter to swing at strike three.
In the bottom of the 12th, McDaniel notched the winning run, when an RBI single down the leftfield line by Antonio Rosanova with runners on first and third, ended the contest.
Glavin was charged with the loss to fall to 2-1 on the season, throwing 2 2/3, allowing three hits and striking out three. David Pisauro (1-1) entered in relief and threw five shutout innings, surrendering just three hits and striking out three.
F&M's offense collected eight hits, compared to nine from McDaniel, but left eight runners on base. David Iacobucci led the way with a 3-for-5 line and a stolen base, while Sivo led the Green Terror from the leadoff spot with a 2-for-5 effort and a run scored.
In the nightcap, the Diplomats struck first in the third with three runs off five hits, including a Marano RBI single, to take the 3-0 lead. The Green Terror climbed within one in the sixth, tallying two runs off a hit and an error to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
It was all F&M from there as the Diplomats' offense came alive with five runs off six hits in the top of the seventh for the 8-2 advantage. Marano and Iacobucci each recorded RBI singles in the frame, while Brian Erb's two-out single, plated a pair and closed out the scoring.
In the eighth, the Diplomats tacked on two more runs with an RBI single from Casey Bulik and a Marano sacrifice fly for the controlling 10-2 advantage. McDaniel got two back in the bottom of the frame, but was unable to get any closer en route to the six-run F&M win.
Freshman starting pitcher Mike Androconis (2-1) continued to impress, tossing seven innings and not allowing an earned run, while striking out six. The Green Terror's Ben Van Put (1-2) was charged with the loss, allowing eight earned in 6 2/3 innings of work.
Marano led the attack with a 3-for-4 effort to go along with three RBIs and a run scored. Brett Poniros tallied a 2-for-5 line with two runs scored and a stolen base from the leadoff spot, while Iacobucci went 2-for-5, Tyler Daley went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Bulik registered a 3-for-4 line, while crossing the plate three times on the afternoon.
F&M returns to action tomorrow, hosting Arcadia at Caplan Field for a 12:30 p.m. non-conference matchup.