AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team continued its strong start to the team's Florida spring break trip with its second doubleheader sweep in a row, downing Ripon by scores of 6-1 and 6-3 on Monday afternoon.
In the process, the Diplomats earned the 1,000 victory in program history, joining Johns Hopkins, Gettysburg and Washington College as just the fourth Centennial Conference (CC) institution to accomplish that feat.
With the team's fourth straight win, F&M improved to 5-4 on the season while the Red Hawks dipped to 0-5.
Christopher Vincent got the Diplomats on the board early in game one with a two-out RBI single that plated Tyler Daley for the 1-0 edge. David Iacobucci added to the lead in the third with a RBI single of his own that once again sent Daley across home plate.
Three runs on five hits and an error in the sixth extended F&M's advantage to 6-0. Iacobucci opened the frame with a leadoff triple before advancing home on a failed pickoff attempt, while a RBI double from Kyle Ebert and an RBI single courtesy of Brian Meerholz, rounded out the scoring.
Vincent led the offensive charge with a 3-for-4 effort, tallying two RBIs and scoring a run. Daley went 2-for-3 at the leadoff spot with three runs scored, a stolen base and a walk, while Iacobucci and Justin Cavegn each registered a pair of the Diplomats' 11 hits.
F&M turned three double plays through the course of seven error-free innings. Freshman starter Jonathan Cole (1-1) earned his first career win with five shutout frames, striking out five and allowing just five hits on the mound. David Knapp (0-1) was charged with the loss for Ripon, allowing five earned on seven hits in five innings of work.
Game two saw the Diplomats' red-hot offense continue its torrid play. After Ripon had gone up 1-0 in the top of the first, F&M responded in the bottom of the frame with three runs on one hit and an error. An Iacobucci two-RBI triple got the scoring started before the senior captain crossed home plate himself on a RBI grounder from Vincent.
Cavegn led off the fourth with a single and a stolen base, before back-to-back Red Hawk fielding errors added two more runs to the scoreboard and pushed the Diplomat lead to 5-1. In the sixth, Zachary Roberson notched a triple that drove in Danny Blugis from second to add an insurance run for F&M.
Ripon battled back in the top of the seventh with a two-out RBI single that cut the deficit to three, but reliever Luke Bengel entered the game and forced a groundout to third that ended the threat.
The program's all-time saves leader Andrew Mascis (1-1) got the start and tossed 6 1/3 innings, allowing three earned and striking out three to pick up his first-career win. Garrett Kaczrowski (0-1) suffered the loss, surrendering two earned on three hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Iacobucci recorded a 2-for-3 line with one run scored and two RBIs, Blugis scored a pair of runs and Roberson put together a 2-for-2 effort with a RBI.
F&M returns to action tomorrow 4:00 p.m. against Stockon in Auburndale, Fla.