AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team began its Florida Spring Break trip on Sunday, falling to William Paterson by a 9-4 tally in game one, before starting pitcher Jonathan Cole delivered a dominant complete-game shutout to salvage the split with a 4-0 victory in game two.
The Diplomats moved to 2-2-1 on the year with the pair of non-conference results while the Pioneers are now 4-4.
Game 1: William Paterson 9, F&M 4 (7 Innings)
Kengo Kawahara jumpstarted the trip with a leadoff homer on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first to put F&M out in front at 1-0. The Pioneers responded with three runs on three hits in the top of the second to storm ahead 3-1, before adding a run in the fifth when a one-out double plated a runner from second.
A five-run sixth frame, which saw William Paterson register four singles and a walk, put F&M in the hole by an 8-1 margin. Down to its final three outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Diplomats continued to fight. Andrew Poirier started the action off with a single before F&M loaded the bases when a pair of batters were hit by a pitch.
Don DiLoreto stepped into the box as a pinch hitter and took advantage of his opportunity with an RBI single to left field – his first-career hit. Dan Marano followed with a two-RBI single to center, but DiLoretto was thrown out at third base to end the threat.
Game 2: F&M 4, William Paterson 0 (7 Innings)
Cole overwhelmed the Pioneers in the nightcap, allowing just four hits scattered across seven shutout frames to pick up his first win of the season. William Paterson's bats struggled to make contact throughout as F&M's sophomore righty generated nine strikeouts in the contest.
Knotted at 0-0 in the top of the fourth, four-consecutive Diplomat hits, including a two-RBI triple to right-center from Matthew Kann, propelled F&M to a 3-0 edge. The same tally held in the top of the seventh when the Diplomats took advantage of an infield error to tack an insurance run on the board at 4-0.
Cole placed the Pioneers down in order in the bottom of the seventh to close out the win, notching a pair of strikeouts in the frame.
Danny Blugis paced the offense with a 3-for-3 effort.
The Diplomats continue their Florida trip tomorrow with a doubleheader against Ripon starting at 5:00 p.m.