LANCASTER, Pa. – Back-to-back strong performances from Franklin & Marshall's starting pitchers got the Diplomats off to a torrid Centennial Conference (CC) start with wins of 11-3 and 2-0 against Washington College on Sunday afternoon at Caplan Field.
The Diplomats improved to 13-8, 2-0 CC with the pair of wins while the Shoremen slid to 9-13, 0-2 CC.
Starting pitching was F&M's strength on Sunday. Jonathan Cole (2-0) tossed seven innings in the opener but was deal the no-decision after allowing just one earned on three hits and striking out two. Mike Androconis improved to 4-1 in the nightcap after throwing eight shutout frames, surrendering six hits and striking out five.
F&M scored the first run in game one on a RBI groundout from Christopher Vincent in the bottom of the sixth that plated Justin Cavegn from third. Both teams traded runs in the seventh before the Shoremen went ahead by a 3-2 score with a pair of RBI singles in the eighth.
However, the Diplomats' offense exploded in the bottom of the frame as F&M tossed nine runs on the board - the result of six hits and three Washington errors. Cory Hecht wrapped up the scoring with a bases-clearing, three-run double to left center with two outs.
Reliever Bobby Gaston (2-0) secured the win after finishing the final 1 1/3 innings and allowing just one hit. Nick Roberti (0-2) was charged with the loss after allowing eight earned in 1/3 innings.
In game two, the Diplomats carried over the offensive momentum from the opener by getting on the board early with two runs in the bottom of the first. Casey Bulik led off with a double to left field before an infield throwing error placed runners on first and third with no outs.
Iacobucci loaded the bases by drawing a walk and Vincent grounded into a double play that allowed Bulik to cross home plate. Zachary Roberson rounded out the scoring with a clutch RBI single up the middle for the 2-0 edge.
The Shoremen advanced runners to third base in both the fourth and fifth innings but Androconis shut down both opportunities with a groundout in the fourth and a strikeout in the fifth.
Blugis entered out of the bullpen in the ninth and struck out two to pick up his second save of the season. Logan Dubbe (2-2) was solid for Washington but was dealt the tough-luck loss after throwing all eight frames, allowing no earned runs and striking out 10.
Cavegn went 3-for-4 with a run scored as the Diplomats outhit the Shoremen by a narrow 7-6 total. Roberson also has a multi-hit performance by tallying a 2-for-4 line with a RBI.
CC competition continues on Tuesday when F&M travels to Gettysburg for a 3:30 p.m. start.