LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team fell to Elizabethtown by a 7-2 score on Thursday afternoon in non-conference action. The Diplomats' dropped to 22-10 overall on the season, while the Blue Jays improved to 22-12.
Elizabethtown jumped out to the early 1-0 lead off an RBI single in the first, before blowing the game wide open with five runs in a sloppy third inning that saw runners cross the plate on a pair of errors, two hits and a wild pitch.
After the Blue Jays made it 7-0 with an RBI single in the fourth, F&M's offense answered with a bases loaded fielder's choice groundout by Matt Mezansky, which scored Dan Marano from third. David Iacobucci also came home from second on the play, off a throwing error from Elizabethtown's second baseman.
Starter Sam Ackerman (1-3) was dealt the loss, despite being charged with just one earned run in six innings on the mound. Dylan Manning (3-1) recorded the victory for the Blue Jays, tossing 6 2/3 innings, allowing one earned and striking out three.
Reliever Chris Mathewson entered in the eighth and made history by tying the program's all-time appearances record with the 58th of his career. Four came out of the bullpen to combine for three innings of shutout ball as Luke Bengel, Bobby Gaston and Thomas Kelly all saw time on the mound.
Brian Erb paced the offense with a 2-for-3 day at the plate, while four other Diplomats registered one of the team's six hits on the cold and rainy contest. Elizabethtown tallied 9 hits, including a 3-for-5 effort from centerfielder Alex Holbert and a 3-for-4 day from first baseman Luke Gatti.
F&M returns to the field tomorrow, traveling to Haverford for a pivotal Centennial Conference (CC) matchup at 3:30 p.m. A win against the Fords would clinch a playoff spot for the Diplomats.