HAMPDEN SYDNEY, Va. - J.J. Freeman's game-winning, ninth-inning double capped a 3-2 win in Franklin & Marshall baseball team's season-opener over Hampden Sydney on Sunday afternoon, before the Diplomats' offense broke out with a 10-4 victory (7 Innings) in the nightcap.
The Diplomats improved to 2-0 off their torrid start to the 2019 season, while the Tigers dipped to 2-3 following the non-conference doubleheader.
Game 1: F&M 3, Hampden Sydney 2 (9 Innings)
Game one saw F&M fall behind early when Hampden Sydney rattled off two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first for the early 2-0 edge. Reigning Centennial Player of the Year Dan Marano laced a two-out double to left center in the top of the third and crossed home plate with a Kelsey Launi RBI single in the next at-bat to cut the deficit to two.
The 2-1 tally held until the seventh when a wild pitch with runners on the corners allowed Freeman to score from third to even the game at two.
Danny Blugis led off the ninth with a double to center and eventually crossed home plate when Freeman lined the game-winning RBI double to left center with a pair of outs on the board. The first-year righty capped off his scoreless, three-inning performance with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure the F&M win.
Wright (1-0) was awarded his first-career victory after striking out two and surrendering just one hit in his appearance. Starter Jonathan Cole tossed the first six frames, allowing just two earned off five hits while striking out six.
Freeman went 3-for-5 with one RBI and a run scored from the leadoff spot, while six additional Diplomat batters combined to help F&M outhit the Tigers by an 8-6 margin.
Game 2: F&M 10, Hampden-Sydney 4 (7 Innings)
F&M's offense carried over the momentum in the nightcap with Don DiLoreto's two-out RBI single up the middle in the top of the first for the 1-0 advantage. The Tigers quickly answered with fours runs off two hits and an error in the bottom of the frame to jump in front at 4-1.
The three-run deficit didn't last long ad the Diplomats notched their own four-run inning in the top of the third to take the lead for good at 5-4. Marano and DiLoreto plated the first two runs with RBI singles, and Matthew Kann put the exclamation point on the frame with a two-out, two-RBI single to right field.
Justin Cavegn's RBI double down the leftfield line and Andrew Poirier's RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth tossed a pair of insurance runs on the board. The following frame saw F&M continue to pile on the offense with three runs off two hits for the 10-4 lead. Third baseman Will Samuel opened the scoring with his two-RBI single to right field that plated Kyle Ebert and Marano.
Starting pitcher Jack Buckley (1-0) threw the opening three innings and wasn't charged with an earned run while striking out four to claim the victory. DiLoreto pitched the final two frames, striking out two and surrendering two hits.
Launi was 2-for-5 with one run scored and DiLoreto produced at the plate as well with a 2-for-4 effort that included a walk, one run scored and two RBIs.
F&M will look to keep rolling in a road contest against Gallaudet on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.