Strong Pitching Propels F&M to Sweep of Muhlenberg

Strong Pitching Propels F&M to Sweep of Muhlenberg

LANCASTER, Pa. – A pair of dominant pitching performances from Eric Bateman and Mike Androconis led the Franklin & Marshall baseball team to a clutch doubleheader sweep of Muhlenberg in Centennial Conference (CC) competition on Saturday at Caplan Field. The Diplomats (14-15, 5-5 CC) earned an 11-0 shutout in game one over the Mules (4-14, 5-3 CC) and followed with a 7-2 victory in the nightcap. 

Before the start of the opening contest, F&M honored its seven-member senior class of Tim Costello, Gareth Fancher, Matt Mezansky, Ryan Obrecht, Brett Poniros, Luke Seib and Mike Smeriglio

Casey Bulik and Mezansky both notched two-RBI singles in a four-run bottom of the third inning to kick off the scoring for F&M in game one. The Diplomats broke the game wide open in the next frame, tallying seven runs on five hits and one error to take the commanding 11-0 advantage. 

Dan Marano led off with a double to left field and eventually scored when Tyler Daley drew a bases loaded walk. Bulik reached first on a throwing error to plate Williams, and David Iacobucci followed with a bases-clearing three-RBI double to left field. Smeriglio tallied an RBI single to left later in the frame and Obrecht capped the scoring onslaught with a sacrifice fly to center that sent Mezansky home frome third. 

Bateman (3-3) tossed seven scoreless frames and allowed just one hit while striking out six. Will Hofmann and Costello came out of the bullpen to close out the contest with a scoreless inning apiece. Troy Elias (0-4) was dealt the loss for the Mules after being charged with eight earned in three frames. 

Reed Williams went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate to go along with two runs scored while Smeriglio tallied a 2-for-4 line. 

The Diplomats' offense kept on rolling in game two when a sacrifice bunt from Mezansky in the bottom of the first was mishandled by Muhlenberg, allowing Bulik to cross the plate and put F&M in front 1-0. 

In the second, Poniros tacked on to the lead, lacing a two-out single to left field that allowed Seib to come home safely from third. The Diplomats followed with five runs off six hits in the bottom of the third to extend the advantage to 7-0. F&M registered six consecutive hits in the frame, including RBI singles from Smeriglio and Williams and RBI doubles from Seib and Christopher Vincent

Muhlenberg recorded its first runs of the day to pull within five in the ninth, but reliever Fancher retired the side on a strikeout. 

Androconis was impressive throughout, shutting down the Mules with through eighth shutout innings, surrendering three hits and striking out six.

Smeriglio, Seib and Poniros all registered 2-for-4 lines as F&M outhit the Mules by a 10-5 mark. 

CC play continues for the Diplomats on Tuesday when F&M travels to Washington for a 3:30 p.m. start.