AUBURNDALE, Fla. - A dominant pitching performance from starter Jack Buckley in a 3-0 shutout of RIT was followed by an impressive offensive performance that saw a pair of fourth-inning grand slams in a 12-0 (7 Innings) blanking of New Jersey City on Sunday afternoon in Florida.
Following day one of the Diplomats' spring break trip, F&M improved to 5-0, which is the program's best start since also opening the year with an identical mark in 2015. RIT fell to 1-4 while New Jersey City now sits at 0-2.
Game 1: F&M 3, RIT 0
Don DiLoreto was eventually hit by a pitch, before Matthew Kann suffered the same fate, but earned an RBI with the bases loaded. Will Samuel followed with a sacrifice fly RBI to right field while DiLoreto completed his trip home later in the frame by scoring on a passed ball.
Buckley (2-0) was flat out dominant with six shutout innings and 11 strikeouts. Charlie Wright earned his first career save by shutting down the RIT batters through the final three innings, surrendering just two hits during his time on the mound.
Launi paced the offense with a 1-for-1 effort that included three walks.
Game 2: F&M 12, NJCU 0 (7 Innings)
Launi was key in generating the first run of game two as the speedy right fielder doubled to right center, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and crossed home thanks to a J.J. Freeman grounder to third base.
The 1-0 Diplomat edge held until the third when Freeman notched a sacrifice fly to center that plated Justin Cavegn from third for the two-score advantage.
In the top of the fourth, F&M's offense came alive with nine runs on just three hits. Two of those hits were bases-clearing, grand slams - first from Launi with one out, and later in the frame by Alex Miller, which was the first homer of his career.
Freeman went yard on a two-out, solo shot in the fifth to tack on one more run for the Diplomats.
Launi capped off game two with a 2-for-3 line that included two runs scored and four RBIs. Freeman was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and three RBIs, Samuel was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and Miller put together a 1-for-3 effort with two runs scored and four batted in.
The Diplomats' offense registered 10 walks in the game and stranded just four base runners in the game.
DiLoreto (1-0) was credited with the win after tossing three scoreless frames and striking out four. The bullpen was solid for F&M as four relievers combined for four scoreless innings with just one hit surrendered and two strikeouts.
The Diplomats aim to continue their torrid start with a doubleheader against Juniata tomorrow, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at Chain of Lakes Stadium in Winter Haven, Fla.