GREENSBORO, N.C. – A pair of close contests in Franklin & Marshall baseball's season-opening doubleheader resulted in an 11-10 (10 innings) extra-inning loss followed by a 4-4 tie (7 innings) due to darkness against Guilford on Saturday afternoon.
The Diplomats moved to 0-1-1 with the non-conference decisions while the Quakers moved to 3-4-1.
Game 1: Guilford 11, F&M 10 (10 innings)
Two F&M freshmen drove in runs in the top of the eighth inning to help the Diplomats carry a 10-5 lead into the bottom of the frame. Matthew Kann lined an RBI single up the middle that plated Marano before J.J. Freeman followed with an RBI single down the right-field line.
The lead was short-lived as Guilford answered with three runs in the eighth and a pair of scores off a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth that forced extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th, the Quakers notched their second home run of the game off a solo shot that allowed Guilford to walk-off with the come-from-behind win.
First baseman Dan Marano was stellar for F&M with a 4-for-6 performance. He launched two home runs in the game and scored three runs. Freeman went 3-for-5 with three RBIs in his collegiate debut, while four Diplomat batters recorded a pair of the team's 18 total hits.
Mike Androconis got the start, allowing three earned off four hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. Matt Devlin was charged with the loss. Reliever Mitchell Stumpo (1-2) was credit with the Guilford win after tossing the final five frames and allowing three earned.
F&M outhit Guilford by an 18-12 margin, but the Diplomats walked eight batters.
Game 2: F&M 4, Guilford 4 (7 innings)
Marano continued his hot hitting in the nightcap, putting together a 4-for-4 effort to go a combined 8-for-10 on the day.
The Quakers struck early by scoring off a throwing error by the F&M infield in the bottom of the first for a quick 1-0 edge. Jimmy Whelan drew a walk to open the top of the third, and got into scoring position by swiping second base. Advancing to third on a flyout to right field, Whelan was sent home to tie the contest at 1-1 when Kelsey Launi recorded a sacrifice fly.
Two runs on two hits and an error in the fourth put the Diplomats out in front by a 3-1 score. Whelan reached on an error that scored Lincoln Pantell from third, and Freeman crossed the plate next after a Kawahara reached on a fielder's choice.
Guilford got a run back in the bottom of the inning thanks to three-consecutive singles, but Marano's two-out, RBI double to center field in the top of the sixth, once again padded F&M's advantage to two runs at 4-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, Guilford completed its comeback with two runs on one hit and an error to tie of the game at 4-4. The contest was called at the end of the frame due to darkness.
Diplomat starting pitcher Jonathan Cole was solid with five innings of work. He allowed just one earned while striking out five.
Shortstop Justin Cavegn was 1-for-1 with one run scored and a pair of walks for F&M. The Quakers outhit the Diplomats at 9-7 while F&M drew four walks in the game.
The Diplomats return to the field tomorrow, traveling to Salem, Va. to take on No. 17 Roanoke at 1:00 p.m.