WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Dan Marano's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning broke a tied score and allowed Franklin & Marshall's baseball team to put an exclamation point on a memorable spring break trip with a 7-6 win over Ripon on Sunday afternoon.
The Diplomats went 8-2 during their time down in Florida and improved to 11-2 on the year, while the Red Hawks fell to 0-3.
Tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Danny Blugis laced a one-out double to center field before advancing to third off a groundout from Kelsey Launi. Don DiLoreto drew a key two-out walk, and Marano put F&M ahead with his RBI single to center in the Diplomats' next at-bat.
Reliever Don DiLoreto (2-0) shut down Ripon in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning that clinched the victory. Starting pitcher Kyle Roche lasted the first three frames on Sunday, allowing five hits and one earned while striking out five. Ryan DeWalt and Jake Amorello each pitched a scoreless frame out of the bullpen before handing the ball over to DiLoreto for the final four innings.
Each team traded runs in the first inning with Marano registering a two-out, RBI single to left that tied the score at 1-1. The Red Hawks went ahead by one in the top half of the third, but F&M was quick to respond with two runs off of three hits and an error in the bottom of the frame for the 3-2 advantage.
After both squads tossed a single run on the board in the fourth, the Diplomats increased the lead to three in the bottom of the sixth with two runs off of three hits. Kevin Lammers tallied an RBI double that plated Alex Miller from second, and catcher Danny Blugis rounded out the scoring with an RBI single to center field.
The 6-3 mark held until the seventh when the Red Hawks evened the contest with a three-run homer to right field.
Blugis went 3-for-4 on the day with three runs scored, and Marano produced a 3-for-5 line with three runs batted in. Kelsey Launi was 2-for-4 with one run scored and Don DiLoreto drew three walks in addition to his 1-for-2 effort from the dish.
F&M will look to extend its five-game season winning streak when the Diplomats return to Pennsylvania for a 3:30 p.m. contest Wednesday on the road against Elizabethtown.