AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team fell behind early and struggled to generate offense in a 7-1 loss to Western New England on Thursday morning in Auburndale, Fla.
The Diplomats dropped to 5-7 with the loss, while the Golden Bears remained unbeaten at 7-0.
A costly fielding error with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first allowed two runs to cross the plate for Western New England and put F&M in an early 2-0 hole. The Golden Bears homered in the bottom of the third to extend the advantage to three, before tacking on in the fifth with two runs on three hits to go ahead 5-0.
David Iacobucci and Mike Smeriglio led off the top of the sixth with back-to-back singles, before another single from Luke Seib later in the frame, loaded the bases with one out. Tyler Daley got the first points on the board for F&M, reaching base on a fielder's choice that plated Iacobucci from third.
However, the Diplomats were unable to produce additional runs in the frame, and another home run from Western New England in the sixth pushed the advantage back to five.
F&M's offense failed to cut into the deficit through the remainder of the contest as the Golden Bears scored on a sacrifice fly with runners on the corners in the eighth to add some insurance.
Starting pitcher Kurt Elmer (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing three earned off four hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. Tom Mahoney (2-0) earned the win by twirling six frames, allowing one earned off six hits and striking out five.
Iacobucci paced the Diplomats' offense with a 2-for-4 effort, and one run scored as F&M was outhit 7-6 on the day.
Spring break action continues tomorrow in Florida with a contest against Babson at 3:30 p.m.