GREENSBORO, N.C. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team was retired with the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth as Guilford held on to complete the three-game series sweep by an 8-5 score on Sunday afternoon.
The defeat dropped F&M to 0-3 on the season while the Quakers now stand at 7-4 on the year.
Trailing by a 5-3 tally heading into the eighth, Mike Smeriglio stepped to the dish with runners on the corners and lined an RBI single up the middle that plated Reed Williams and cut the deficit to one. Guilford answered back emphatically in the bottom of the frame, taking advantage of numerous Diplomat miscues, scoring three runs on two fielding errors and a wild pitch to take a four-run advantage into the ninth.
Tyler Daley led off with a single, before advancing to second on a wild pitch. A groundout to short moved Daley to third before a foul out and a walk placed runners on first and third with two outs. Williams reached on a fielding error that sent Daley across the plate, but the rally ended with a flyout to centerfield in F&M's next at-bat.
The Diplomats were the first to light the scoreboard in the contest when Daley knocked in David Iacobucci with a two-out RBI single. The Quakers came back with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning and then tacked on with three runs on two hits and an error in the third.
Matt Mezansky, Iacobucci and Daley each recorded two of F&M's nine hits on the afternoon. Iacobucci put together a 2-for-3 line with two runs scored while Mezansky and Daley both went 2-for-4 with an RBI each. Designated hitter Chuck Noble paced Guilford with a 2-for-5 effort to go along with two runs and four RBIs.
Eric Bateman (0-1) started on the mound and was dealt the loss after allowing three earned off four hits in three innings of work. Tim Costello, Luke Bengel and Gareth Fancher came out of the bullpen to combine for five innings and allowing only one earned run. Nick Blackwood (2-0) earned the Quakers' victory, tossing 4 1/3 innings of relief.
Action continues for the Diplomats on Tuesday with F&M's home opener against Penn. St.-Harrisburg tentatively scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. start.