BALTIMORE, Md. – A ninth-inning rally resulted in the tying run being stranded at second base as Franklin & Marshall's baseball team traded blows with Johns Hopkins on Tuesday but fell short by a 6-5 tally.
The Centennial Conference (CC) defeat dropped the Diplomats to 11-13-2, 5-5-1 CC while the Blue Jays improved to 20-10, 9-2 CC.
Each team's offense inflicted its damage in the late innings as the contest was deadlocked at 1-1 heading into the eighth.
F&M broke the tie in the top of the eighth frame with three walks to load the bases before Max Schwartz reached on an error to centerfield that allowed Kelsey Launi and Dan Marano to cross home plate for the 3-1 Diplomat edge.
Unfortunately for F&M, the advantage was short-lived as the Hopkins' bats awoke in the bottom of the frame with five runs on three hits and an error to capture the 6-3 lead.
The Diplomats opened the ninth with a Kengo Kawahara walk and a Kyle Ebert ground-rule double that placed runners at second and third with no outs. Marano stepped to the dish and laced a double of his own to center field, scoring both Kawahara and Ebert and pulling F&M within one.
Marano remained in scoring position at second for the remainder of the frame as the Diplomats struck out, flied out to left and went down swinging to end the comeback bid.
Starting pitcher Andrew Mascis delivered his third-straight quality start but garnered the no-decision after tossing seven frames, allowing one earned on five hits and striking out five. Reliever Danny Blugis suffered the loss and dropped the 0-2 on the season, retiring one batter and allowing three earned runs in the eighth.
Hopkins used six pitchers in the contest. Harrison Folk (2-1) was credited with the win after facing just one batter, while Jack Bunting entered after a tumultuous start to the ninth for the Hopkins' bullpen and retired all three hitters he faced to earn the save.
Kawahara was 2-for-3 with two runs and a pair of walks from the leadoff position. Schwartz also recorded a pair of hits in a 2-for-3 effort as the Diplomats outhit the Blue Jays by a 9-8 margin. F&M also drew seven walks in the game, compared to four from Hopkins.
The Diplomats take a break from CC competition on Thursday, traveling to Drew for a 3:30 p.m. tilt.