LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team rallied but ultimately fell short to Elizabethtown by a 12-11 score on Monday afternoon in non-conference competition.
The Diplomats fell to 15-14-2 with the loss while the Blue Jays improved to 12-15.
Trailing by a 7-1 score entering the bottom of the fifth, F&M stormed back with six runs on six hits to even the game. Andrew Poirier got the scoring started with an RBI double through the left side. Jimmy Whelan followed with a one-out RBI single, before J.J. Freeman's triple to center field plated Poirier.
Dan Marano continued the streak with the Diplomats third-consecutive hit in the frame – an RBI single through the right side that allowed Freeman to cross home plate. Lincoln Pantell tallied the final runs of the frame, lacing a two-out, two-RBI single to center that plated Kelsey Launi and Matthew Kann.
The advantage was short lived as F&M surrendered five runs on a pair of hits and two errors in the top of the sixth, falling behind by a 12-7 tally. Jimmy Whelan's two-out, RBI double to center in the bottom of the inning cut the deficit to four, and a three-run seventh pulled the Diplomats within one at 12-11. F&M had the bases loaded, but the frame ended with a strikeout.
Still down by a run in the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Kengo Kawahara led off with a walk and eventually advanced to third with a single from Freeman. However, with runners on the corners and one out, the Diplomats were retired with swinging strikeouts in each of the next two at-bats.
Whelan led the offense with a 3-for-5 effort at the leadoff position, including a pair of doubles, while also tallying four RBIs and scoring a run. Freeman was 2-for-4 with one run scored and one driven in, while Pantell and Poirier each recorded 2-for-4 lines at the plate.
As a team, the Diplomats registered seven extra-base hits and outslugged the Blue Jays by a 14-8 margin.
Reliever Nick Koutoulas (0-1) suffered the F&M loss, while Reece Jones (1-0) secured the Elizabethtown win with 1 1/3 innings of work.
The Diplomats continue Centennial Conference (CC) play tomorrow by hosting Dickinson at Caplan Field.