ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall's baseball team suffered a pair of close losses against Muhlenberg Sunday afternoon on the road in Centennial Conference (CC) competition. The Diplomats dropped game one by a 5-2 tally before the Mules rallied to force extras in game two and eventually walked off with a 5-4 win in 12 innings.
F&M's record dipped to 15-10, 2-3 CC on the year while Muhlenberg improved to 12-11, 2-3 CC.
Game 1: Muhlenberg 5, F&M 2
Sunday's opener saw the Diplomats' offense get off to a quick start thanks to a J.J. Freeman double to right field in the game's first at-bat. After Freeman advanced to third on an infield groundout, Dan Marano picked up the sacrifice fly RBI to give F&M a 1-0 edge.
That narrow lead held until the fifth inning when the Mules countered with a five-run frame that included five hits and a Diplomat error.
The Diplomats kept the score close throughout the remainder of the contest but failed to generate additional scoring as F&M went down in order to close out the ninth inning.
Jack Buckley (4-1) suffered the tough-luck loss after tossing six innings and allowing just two earned on seven hits while striking out six. Reliever Charlie Wright was solid out of the bullpen, scattering two hits across a pair of scoreless frames.
Lammers paced the lineup with a 2-for-3 effort to go along with a walk and an RBI. Don DiLoreto walked twice and went 1-for-2 from the plate. F&M's offense stranded 10 baserunners in the game.
Game 2: Muhlenberg 5, F&M 4 (12 Innings)
The Diplomats carried a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning before Muhlenberg recorded a pair of singles to even the game. In the 12th, the Mules placed a baserunner on first with an infield single and followed with an RBI double to right field that ended the contest.
Once again, F&M was the first team to get on the scoreboard in the nightcap as Alex Miller singled to third in the opening at-bat and then stole a pair of bases to reach third with no outs. Freeman knocked him home with an RBI single through the right side for the 1-0 advantage.
The Mules answered with three runs off of four hits in the second inning to take a 3-1 lead, before the Diplomats countered with three runs off two hits in the third, including a DiLoreto RBI triple to center field, and a pair of Muhlenberg errors to jump back in front at 4-3.
Starting pitcher Jonathan Cole went 7 1/3 innings with three earned off 10 hits and 10 strikeouts. DiLoreto (3-1) was charged with the loss after tossing the final four frames and allowing two earned while striking out a pair.
Miller notched a 2-for-4 line with two runs scored and a walk from the leadoff spot while DiLoreto was 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
CC competition picks back up tomorrow when the Diplomats host Dickinson for a 3:30 p.m. matchup at Caplan Field.