LANCASTER, Pa. – Starting pitcher Jonathan Cole dealt a complete-game gem as Franklin & Marshall's baseball team salvaged a split in the season series against Johns Hopkins with a 3-1 Centennial Conference (CC) win at Caplan Field on Friday afternoon.
The Diplomats, who ended an eight-game slide against the Blue Jays, improved to 13-13-2, 6-5-1 CC while Johns Hopkins fell to 20-11, 9-3 CC.
Knotted at 0-0 in the bottom sixth, Danny Blugis tallied a leadoff double to left center, before moving to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Kengo Kawahara. With one out on the board, Kyle Ebert sent a single up the middle that plated Blugis and gave F&M a 1-0 edge.
Hopkins threatened in the top half of the eighth with a leadoff double, followed by an RBI single to right field that cut the F&M advantage to two runs. However, a timely pickoff throw from Cole to shortstop Andrew Poirer at second base wiped out the Blue Jays' momentum as Hopkins was retired in the next at-bat with a lineout to center.
Down to their final out in the ninth, the Blue Jays tallied back-to-back singles that placed runners on first and second, but Cole stood tall by forcing a game-ending groundout to second and secure the win.
Cole improved to 3-2 on the season with nine innings of work, allowing just one earned on seven hits and striking out four. Alex Ross (2-4) was also impressive in the loss, throwing all eight innings and being charged for three earned off five hits while striking out five.
Blugis led F&M at the plate with a 2-for-3 effort and a run scored. Launi went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, while both Ebert and Marano registered one hit for the Diplomats.
F&M returns to the field tomorrow, traveling to Westminster to take on McDaniel for a doubleheader that begins at 12:30 p.m.