LANCASTER, Pa. - A barrage of runs in a dominant offensive performance led to a decisive 22-4 win for Franklin & Marshall's baseball team over Haverford in game one on Saturday, before starting pitcher Jonathan Cole struck out 14 in the nightcap for the 3-1 Diplomat victory.
The clutch Centennial Conference (CC) sweep improved F&M to 22-12, 9-5 CC, tying the Diplomats for the second spot in the Conference standings, while the Fords fell to 15-16, 8-6 CC.
Cole's 14 strikeouts in game two are the highest-known total in the program's single-game history. It marked the most K's by a Diplomat pitcher since Ted Serro fanned 12 Endicott batters back in 2006.
Before the start of game one, F&M honored its nine-member senior class of Jake Amorello, Danny Blugis, Eric Dyke, Kurt Elmer, Connor Green, Dan Marano, Brian Meerholz, Alex Miller, and Jonathan Pesantez.
Game 1: F&M 22, Haverford 4
After falling behind by a 3-0 score in the top of the first, F&M's offense went to work with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame and two more in the second to take a 4-3 edge.
Haverford knotted the score in the top of the fourth before the Diplomats scored five runs off of five hits and an error to pull in front for good. F&M was held scoreless in only one frame as the Diplomats put up crooked innings with a four-spot in the fifth and six tallies in the sixth.
Kelsey Launi was a standout performer with a 3-for-5 line that saw the sophomore left fielder score three runs and record six RBIs. Will Samuel went 3-for-6 with four RBIs, and Danny Blugis was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Justin Cavegn notched a 1-for-2 line with two walks and four runs scored while Don DiLoreto was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and a run scored. J.J. Freeman posted a 2-for-5 effort with four runs scored and two RBIs from the leadoff position, while Alex Miller went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Every F&M starter tallied a hit as the Diplomats combined for a season-high 19 in the game. Launi and Freeman both launched homers on the day as Freeman's second-inning, two-run shot was his team-leading fifth of the season.
Reliever Matt Devlin was called on for long relief, entering in the second inning and was lights out. He tossed seven frames, allowing only one earned while striking out seven to improve to 3-2 on the year. Eric Dyke pitched a scoreless ninth and struck out a pair.
Game 2: F&M 3, Haverford 1
The momentum of Saturday's opening contest carried over to the nightcap for F&M as the Diplomats tossed two runs on the board in the bottom of the first. Both came off the bat of Samuel, who laced a two-out, two-RBI double to center field that scored Launi and Miller for the 2-0 advantage.
That mark held until the top of the eighth when Haverford cut the deficit in half with an RBI single up the middle. However, DiLoreto provided some breathing room in the bottom of the frame by leading off with a deep homer to left center for the 3-1 edge.
Haverford's hitters had no answer for Cole (5-2) as the junior righty threw eight frames, allowing no earned runs, surrendering just two hits and striking out 14. Blugis earned his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth as he struck out two batters in the frame.
F&M put itself in prime CC Playoff position with just four games remaining on the slate. Action picks back up on Tuesday when the Diplomats travel to Ursinus for a 3:30 p.m. showdown with the Bears.