LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall fell by an 8-3 score in game one of a Centennial Conference (CC) baseball doubleheader against McDaniel on Saturday before rebounding with a dominant performance from starter Mike Androconis in a 7-0 game two shutout at Caplan Field.
The Diplomats moved to 18-16-1, 6-7-1 CC with the pair of decisions while the Green Terror are now 13-18, 5-9 CC.
Before the opening game, F&M honored its 14-member senior class of Sam Ackerman, Eric Bateman, Luke Bengel, Casey Bulik, Michael Caron, Tyler Daley, Mack Glavin, Cory Hecht, Will Hofmann, David Iacobucci, Tom Kelly, Zachary Roberson, Christopher Vincent and Reed Williams.
Williams generated the game's first run in the opener when the senior second baseman doubled down the left-field line in the bottom of the second to plate Hecht from first. The 1-0 edge only held until the bottom of the frame when a Green Terror RBI single knotted the score.
McDaniel went ahead 4-1 in the top of the fifth with three runs on two hits and three costly errors from the Diplomats. Iacobucci kept F&M in the game with a RBI single to left field in the bottom of the frame to pull within two, but the Green Terror tacked on four runs, courtesy of three hits and an error in the seventh, to put the game away for good.
Starter Jonathan Cole (3-3) was dealt the loss after being charged for just one earned on eight hits while striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings. McDaniel's Jordan Rhoades (2-2) went the distance, dealing nine innings and allowing just two earned.
Iacobucci led the offense with a 3-for-4 day while Hecht went 2-for-4 with a run scored and one batted in.
Androconis (5-2) was in control from the onset of game two by retiring six of the first nine batters he faced with swinging strikeouts. Overall, he scattered just four hits through seven shutout frames and finished with seven K's. Danny Blugis, who started at catcher, relieved Androconis for the start of the eighth and struck out three in two scoreless frames.
Hecht continued to swing a hot bat in the nightcap, opening F&M's scoring with a RBI double in the third to plate Bulik. Jimmy Whelan followed later in the frame with a RBI single to center that gave the Diplomats a 2-0 advantage.
Another two runs were added in the fourth when Hecht recorded his second-straight double with a two-run hit to left field. F&M tacked on another pair of runs off two hits and an error in the bottom of the seventh for the 6-0 lead. Bulik rounded off the scoring with his first career home run, sending a solo shot past the left field fence in the eighth.
Hecht finished at 2-for-4 with two doubles, one run scored and three batted in. Bulik tallied a 2-for-4 line with two runs scored and a RBI while Whelan was 2-for-3 with one run scored, one batted in and two stolen bases. Hits belonged to the Diplomats at 10-6.
F&M heads into next week with just four regular-season CC games remaining, beginning action on Tuesday by traveling to Dickinson for a 3:30 p.m. start.