LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team picked up a 1-1 split against Centennial Conference (CC)-leader Swarthmore on Saturday afternoon at Caplan Field, winning game one by an 8-5 tally before dropping the nightcap by a 15-1 score.
The game one victory ended a six-game winning streak for the Garnet (21-7, 8-2 CC) as the Diplomats moved their record to 11-12-2, 5-4-1 CC.
Game 1: F&M 8, Swarthmore 5
Saturday's opener saw F&M's offense pick up right where it left off from its 26-run output on Friday against Ursinus, with the Diplomats' bats jumping on Swarthmore for one run on one hit in the bottom of the first. Jimmy Whelan drew a bases-loaded walk for the game's first score.
In the bottom of the second, F&M tacked on when Kyle Ebert led off with a double to right center, before Justin Cavegn placed runners on the corners with a single and Kengo Kawahara drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to left field for the 2-0 edge.
Swarthmore answered with three runs on four hits in the top of the fifth to go ahead at 3-2, before an infield error by the Garnet in the bottom of the frame allowed F&M to knot the score.
An RBI single by Swarthmore in the top of the sixth once again put the Diplomats in a hole at 4-3, but F&M once again showed its resiliency in the bottom of the frame when the Diplomats plated three runs on two hits and an error for the 6-4 advantage. A Dan Marano double scored a pair in the frame.
The Garnet pulled within one off an RBI single in the seventh but the Diplomats answered right back with a Kengo Kawahara bases-loaded walk, followed by J.J. Freeman being hit by a pitch to score Don DiLoreto from third for the 8-5 lead.
Starting pitcher Jack Buckley (4-1) tossed six frames, allowed four runs on 10 hits while striking out seven to earn the win. Reliever Danny Blugis pitched two scoreless innings to close out the game and earn his second save of the season.
Swarthmore led in hits at 15-7. Marano paced the offense with a 2-for-5 effort with two RBIs and a run scored.
Game 2: Swarthmore 15, F&M 1
Four runs off four hits in the top of the second put the Diplomats in an early 4-0 deficit that F&M failed to recover from. The Garnet steadily added to their lead with a two-run sixth frame, before breaking the game wide open with six runs off of five hits in the top of the eighth.
F&M starting pitcher Jonathan Cole (2-2) suffered the loss after surrendering six earned off 10 hits and striking out six in six innings of work. Ricky Conti (6-2) pitched a gem for the Garnet, tossing eight innings and allowing just one earned off six hits.
Eight Diplomat batters recorded a hit in the game, while Swarthmore's first baseman Cole Beeker led the visitors with a 3-for-5 effort and six RBIs.
F&M's doubleheader against Hood tomorrow was postponed. The Diplomats continue Centennial Conference (CC) play on Tuesday, traveling to Johns Hopkins for a 3:30 p.m. contest.