Kruger Drives in Four Runs as Diplomats Sweep Muhlenberg 1-0 & 7-1 in Baseball
LANCASTER, PA - Franklin & Marshall College third baseman Gary Kruger (Jr., East Islip, NY/East Islip) went three-for-five with four RBI, three runs scored and three stolen bases as the Diplomats swept Muhlenberg College 1-0 and 7-1 in Centennial Conference baseball action at Caplan Field.
Historically, Kruger raised his career stolen base total to 67-for-74 as he ranks as the all-time leader in the category after surpassing Dale Amos '89 (63) with two stolen bases in a 5-3 win at Swarthmore College on April 22.
Further, the Diplomats raised their record to 20-13 on the year as Franklin & Marshall recorded the first back-to-back 20-win seasons in school history after finishing the 2004 season with a 24-19 record.
Against the Mules, game one was a pitchers duel as EJ Leary (Jr., Seymour, CT/Seymour) and Muhlenberg's Jason Bonder combined for 13 strikeouts in a 1-0 victory by the Diplomats.
Franklin & Marshall scored the only run of the game in the fifth inning as Josh Welk (So., Strasburg, PA/Lancaster Christian) reached on a walk and moved to third on a singe by Pat O'Reilly (Fr., Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) before Kruger lofted a sacrifice fly to center for an RBI.
Leary finished the game going seven complete innings allowing no runs on four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts for his third complete game of the season.
At the plate, Dan Hanecak (Jr., Conestoga, PA/Lancaster Catholic) went two-for-three as the Diplomats banged out four hits in the game.
Franklin & Marshall exploded in game two slugging nine hits and drawing three walks for seven runs in a 7-1 victory.
The Diplomats jumped on the board in the first inning as O'Reilly reached on an error then moved to third on a groundout by Rich Gallugi (Fr., Peabody, MA/Peabody) before scoring on a single by Kruger. Kruger moved to second on a groundout by Scott Haft (Sr., Jupiter, FL/Jupiter) and came into score as he stole third base and raced home as Muhlenberg catcher A.J. Bettini over threw third base for a 2-0 F&M lead.
In the third inning, Franklin & Marshall tacked on three runs as Hanecak drove in two of the runs with a two out double and Kruger singled to drive in another for a 5-0 lead.
F&M scratched across two runs in the seventh inning before the Mules chased a run across in the eighth for the 7-1 final.
Pitcher Ted Serro (Jr., Brooklyn, NY/Xavier) threw eight innings allowing one run on five hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts before Matt Kalos (Fr., Cheltenham, PA/Cheltenham) pitched the ninth allowing one hit to close out the team's 20th win of the season.
Offensively, Kruger was three-for-three with three RBI and three stolen bases, while Hanecak and O'Reilly each recorded two hits.
The wins keep Franklin & Marshall in first place in the Centennial Conference as the Diplomats can clinch the 2005 Centennial Conference regular season pennant with either a sweep of Dickinson College on April 30 at home, two losses by Johns Hopkins University, or a split with Dickinson combined with losses by Johns Hopkins, Haverford, Ursinus and Gettysburg.
Franklin & Marshall (20-13, 13-3 Centennial Conference) will return to action on April 26 at Elizabethtown College. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m.