LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team dropped an 8-2 contest against Swarthmore on the road Thursday afternoon in the opening game of the Centennial Conference (CC) Tournament.
The Diplomats fell to 18-17-2 while the Garnet won their seventh straight and improved to 30-9.
F&M is still alive in the double-elimination Tournament and returns to action on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in Swarthmore when the Diplomats face Muhlenberg.
Johns Hopkins downed the Mules by a 12-7 tally in the afternoon's other CC contest and will battle Swarthmore following the Diplomats' game on Saturday.
Momentum appeared to be on the F&M side early in Thursday's game when the Diplomats loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the first. However, a groundout double play put an F&M runner out at home and first, before a groundout to the pitcher ended the threat with no Diplomat runs on the board.
Swarthmore capitalized on its scoring chance in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single down the left field line and tacked onto the lead with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the second for the 2-0 edge.
Miscues in the bottom of the fourth, which included a wild pitch and a dropped foul ball allowed another run to come across the plate for the Garnet, while back-to-back Swarthmore solo homers in the fifth extended the lead to 5-0.
A Swarthmore leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth eventually led to a sacrifice fly that generated the Garnet's sixth run of the afternoon. However, F&M answered back in the top of the seventh when Don DiLoreto sent a two-run homer over the fence that plated Matthew Kann and cut the deficit to 6-2.
The Diplomat rally fell short when Swarthmore answered in the bottom of the frame with two runs of its own, lacing a two-out home run, followed by three consecutive singles to make it an 8-2 game.
Starting pitcher Mike Androconis (2-2) suffered the F&M loss after surrendering three earned on seven hits in five innings of work. Swarthmore starter Ricky Conti (9-2) picked up the win after tossing eight frames, not allowing an earned run and striking out three.
The Diplomats were outhit by a 12-5 margin. First baseman Cole Beeker paced the Garnet batters with a 3-for-5 effort with a home run and two RBIs while designated hitter Jackson Roberts tallied a pair of homers.