WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Starting pitcher Mike Androconis tossed a game one gem and Franklin & Marshall's offense dominated game two as the Diplomats swept Fitchburg St. by scores of 6-0 and 13-4 to open their Florida Spring Break trip on Sunday afternoon.
The pair of wins elevated F&M's record to 3-4 on the season while the Falcons fell to 1-3.
Androconis (2-1) was lights out in the first game of Sunday's non-conference twin bill, tossing all seven innings for the complete game shutout and only surrendering three hits while striking out eight.
The Diplomats' offense got going early with Max Schwartz notching a two-RBI double in the bottom of the first that plated Christopher Vincent and David Iacobucci. A Brian Meerholz RBI single in the bottom of the fourth scored Tyler Daley from second to make it 3-0, and Dan Marano followed later in the frame with a sacrifice fly to left that put F&M ahead by four.
In the sixth, the Diplomats added a pair of insurance runs when Jimmy Whelan recorded an RBI single that plated Kevin Lammers, followed by a sacrifice fly from Dan Marano that drove in Justin Cavegn from third.
Cavegn paced the offense with a 2-for-2 day with a walk and one run scored. F&M outhit Fitchburg by a 7-3 margin and drew five walks on the day.
Game two saw the Diplomats score early and often, led by a four-run top of the first that included RBI singles from Iacobucci and Danny Blugis. F&M tacked on three more in the second to make it 7-0 when Kyle Ebert notched a two-out, two-RBI double to plate a pair. Ebert took advantage of two throwing errors on the play to score himself.
The Falcons cut the deficit to 9-4 in the bottom of the fifth off a leadoff homer and a two-out RBI single. However, F&M added two more runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to put the game away. Iacobucci capped off the scoring with a two-out homer in the seventh, moving him into a tie for fourth place on the Diplomats' career list with 10 in his career.
Iacobucci put together an impressive 2-for-3 line to go along with three runs scored, two RBIs, two walks and two steals. Daley went 2-for-3 with a run scored and one walk from the leadoff spot, while designated hitter Kyle Ebert went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs from the cleanup spot. Danny Blugis and Zachary Roberson both registered a pair of F&M's 13 hits, with Blugis scoring two runs and an RBI and Roberson collecting a run and a RBI.
F&M terrorized the base paths with six stolen bases, led by Iacobucci and Bulik swiping two a piece. Freshman starter Jack Buckley earned his first-career win, tossing 4 1/3 innings and allowing four earned while striking out eight. Relievers Tom Kelly and Jonathan Pesantez combined for 2 2/3 shutout innings out of the bullpen. Kyle Nocera (0-1) was dealt the loss after being tagged for four earned off five hits in 1 2/3 frames.
The Diplomats enter tomorrow's doubleheader against Ripon just two games shy of the program's 1,000th all-time win. Game one begins at 1:30 p.m. in Auburndale.