WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team battled back from a five-run deficit to tie the game in the sixth but fell just short in a hard-fought 8-7 loss against Babson in Florida.
The defeat dropped the Diplomats' record to 5-8 on the year while the Beavers improved to 5-3.
After a three-run fifth frame from Babson put F&M in a 6-1 hole heading into the bottom of the inning, Matt Mezansky sent a two-run homer over the left field fence that plated pinch-hitter Brian Meerholz from first.
The rally continued in the sixth when Christopher Vincent led off with another home run to left field. Tyler Daley reached on a walk and stole second before a Casey Bulik single down the left field line sent him across the plate. Luke Seib eventually scored Bulik from third, reaching on an error by Babson's shortstop and knotting the contest at 6-6.
In the next frame, a costly error followed by a walk and an RBI single to left field sent a runner home for the Beavers and once again put the Diplomats behind by a score.
Babson added a key insurance run in the top of the ninth and F&M was down to its final out in the bottom of the inning, before Vincent went yard again with a solo shot to pull the Diplomats within one. However, the rally came up short when F&M went down swinging to retire the side.
Mack Glavin started for the Diplomats and tossed 4 2/3 innings, allowing five earned off 11 hits. Luke Bengel (0-1) came in relief and was charged with the loss for giving up the winning run in the seventh. Ken Rotunno (1-1) received the win out of the bullpen for Babson, while Matt Cuneo was credited with the save.
Vincent paced the offense with a 3-for-5 effort, two RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Mezansky went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored, while David Iacobucci, Mike Smeriglio, Daley and Bulik each recorded a pair of F&M's 14 hits.
Spring break competition continues tomorrow with a doubleheader against Bowdoin, beginning at 10:00 a.m.