LANCASTER, Pa. - Dan Marano broke Franklin & Marshall baseball's career RBI record with a sixth-inning single, but the Diplomats saw their comeback bid fall short in an 11-10 non-conference defeat against Messiah on Wednesday afternoon.
The contest at Caplan field dropped the Diplomats' overall record to 15-8 on the year while the Falcons improved to 8-13.
A fielder's choice bunt allowed Messiah to take an early 1-0 edge in the top of the third before F&M answered with a run in the bottom of the frame. J.J. Freeman generated the scoring opportunity after drawing a leadoff walk, stealing second, advancing to third on a groundout, and scoring on a wild pitch.
Messiah followed with three runs in both the fourth and fifths innings to take a decisive 7-1 advantage. However, the Diplomats rallied in the bottom of the sixth with five runs off of five hits to pull within one. Matthew Kann laced a double to center field that plated the innings first runner before Kelsey Launi notched a two-RBI double to right field later in the frame.
Marano rounded out the inning's scoring with a record-breaking RBI single to right field that sent Launi home from second. The RBI marked the 109th of Marano's career and moved him into sole possession of F&M's all-time record. He passed Jason Anderson '10 for the top spot.
The Diplomat momentum was short lived as the Falcons answered back with three runs on two hits and three F&M errors in the seventh to extend the advantage back to 10-6. The Diplomats tallied three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame with a Freeman sacrifice fly and a Kyle Ebert two-RBI double to once again make it a one-score game.
In the top of the ninth, Messiah tacked on an insurance run to extend the lead to two, and the Diplomats placed runners on the corners with two outs in the bottom of the inning but flew out to right field to end the game.
Justin Cavegn paced the F&M offense with a 2-for-2 effort and two runs scored. Ebert and Launi were both credited with a pair of RBIs, while Marano walked twice on the day.
A total of 13 pitchers saw time on the mound for both teams as starter Kyle Roche (0-2) was charged with the Diplomat loss after four innings of work and four earned runs on seven hits surrendered.
Centennial Conference (CC) play resumes on Friday when F&M hosts Dickinson at 3:30 p.m.