LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team was upended by Messiah on Thursday afternoon, falling by an 11-4 score in the home opener at Caplan Field. The Diplomats dropped to 11-8 with the defeat while the Falcons improved to 7-9.
The game appeared destined for a pitching dual before Messiah struck first with a RBI grounder to second in the top of the fourth to go ahead 1-0. F&M was quick to answer in the bottom of the frame, tying the score with a Max Schwartz RBI single up the middle that plated David Iacobucci from second.
However, five runs on three hits and a trio of costly infield errors allowed the Falcons to surge ahead by a 6-1 tally heading into the sixth. In the bottom of the seventh, the Diplomats led off with four straight hits, culminating in a Justin Cavegn bases-clearing double that brought F&M within three.
The Falcon's put a halt to the Diplomats comeback bid in the eighth, with four runs on four hits, including a long two-run home run to deep left field by Colin Fry.
Starting pitcher Sam Ackerman (1-1) was dealt the loss but was charged with just one earned on five hits and three walks in five innings of work. Brandon Shirk (1-0) won his first game of the season after allowing four earned and striking out four in six innings on the mound.
Iacobucci tallied a 2-for-5 line with a run scored and Schwartz went 2-for-4 with a run scored, as F&M was even with Messiah at 10 hits each. Fry led the way for the Falcons with a 3-for-4 showing to go along with three runs scored and three driven in.
Centennial Conference (CC) competition opens for the Diplomats on Saturday with a doubleheader at home against Washington. Action is set to begin at 12:30 p.m.