WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Franklin & Marshall's baseball team continued their impressive play down in Florida with a doubleheader sweep of Lesley on Saturday afternoon. The Diplomats, who improved to 10-2 on the season, won game one by a 3-2 tally (7 innings) before downing the Lynx, who dropped to 1-8, by a 12-6 score (7 innings) in the nightcap.
Game 1: F&M 3, Lesley 2 (7 Innings)
Starting pitcher Jonathan Cole (2-1) tossed 6 1/3 solid frames, allowing just one earned on five hits and striking out seven for the win.
Reliever Charlie Wright notched the save after entering in the seventh with runners on first and second and only one out on the scoreboard of a two-run game. The first-year righty got a force out at third, but a Lesley runner scored from first off an infield throwing error by the Diplomats to pull within one. However, Wright stood tall and struck out the game's final batter to seal the victory.
F&M did the majority of its damage in the top of the third with three straight singles to open the frame. J.J. Freeman ripped an RBI triple to left field that plated Andrew Poirier from first, and Kelsey Launi followed with an RBI single to left that allowed Freeman to cross home plate.
The Lynx got a run back in the bottom of the frame to pull within one at 2-1, but Dan Marano led off the sixth with a single to right field and eventually scored off a Will Samuel RBI single to provide a much-needed insurance run for the Diplomats.
An edge on hits belonged to F&M at 10-5 with Freeman and Launi both providing 3-for-4 efforts at the top of the order.
Game 2: F&M 12, Lesley 6 (7 Innings)
A three-run bottom of the first gave the Diplomats an early lead in the nightcap. Don DiLoreto highlighted the frame with an RBI single that scored Freeman. F&M followed with two more runs in the second before Freeman and Launi recorded RBI singles in the third inning as the Diplomats hung four more runs on the board to make it a 9-0 game.
The scoring onslaught continued in the fourth with Freeman's two-RBI single that plated Matthew Kann and Samuel to increase the F&M advantage to 11-0. Lesley tried to chip away at the deficit with four runs off four hits in the sixth and a two-run rally in the seventh, but the Diplomats were able to keep the Lynx at bay.
Freeman stayed red hot with a 2-for-3 line from the leadoff position, which included two runs and three RBIs. Launi, Marano, and DiLoreto all collected a pair of hits with Launi being credited with three RBIs in the game. Kann drew two walks and scored three runs, and Justin Cavegn tallied a 1-for-2 line with a run scored and two walks.
Starting pitcher Matt Devlin (2-0) tossed five shutout innings. He allowed only two hits and struck out three to garner the victory.
Spring break draws to a close tomorrow when F&M takes on Ripon at 10:00 a.m. in Winter Haven, Fla.