WASHINGTON, D.C. – Clutch hitting from Reed Williams and Brian Meerholz in the ninth inning helped Franklin & Marshall's baseball team rally from a one-run deficit to down Catholic by an 11-9 score on Thursday afternoon in non-conference competition.
The Diplomats improved to 3-3 on the year with their third straight win while the Cardinals fell to 4-5.
Trailing by a 9-8 score to start the top of the ninth, David Iacobucci led off with one of his three hits on the day when the junior outfielder singled to left center. A balk placed Iacobucci on second, and Tyler Daley executed a bunt single that gave F&M runners on the corners with no outs. Following a groundout to short that moved Daley to second, Williams stepped to the dish and played hero with a two-RBI double.
Williams advanced to third on a wild pitch and eventually crossed the plate when Meerholz registered a two-out infield single to make it a two-run game.
Reliever Daniel Blugis entered in the bottom of the frame and sent the Cardinals down in order with a fly out and two strikeouts to earn the first save of his career.
Catholic struck first in the contest with three runs on two hits in the opening inning. F&M answered categorically in the third and went up by a 5-3 tally with five runs on five hits that included a three-RBI triple from Iacobucci.
A pair of two-RBI home runs in the bottom of the third put the Cardinals right back in the driver's seat with a four-run frame, putting the Diplomats in an 8-5 hole, before Catholic tacked on with an RBI single in the fourth and extended the advantage to four.
F&M's offense continued to prove resilient in the top of the fifth, responding with a three-run inning, highlighted by a Luke Seib two-out RBI single that plated Meerholz from third and tied the game at 8-8. Catholic went up by one with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, setting up the Diplomats' comeback bid in the ninth.
Iacobucci went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored while Williams notched a 3-for-5 line with two RBIs and three runs scored. Seib and Meerholz both recorded a pair of F&M's 13 hits on the day. Six Cardinals provided multi-hit efforts as Catholic tallied 15 hits as a team.
Gareth Fancher (1-0) was dealt his first win of the season after coming out of the bullpen to toss 1 2/3 innings of shutout ball.
The Diplomats return to action on Sunday when F&M begins its spring break trip in Winter Haven, Fla. with a doubleheader against Endicott at 9:30 a.m. Live stats for both of those contests can be found here.