GRANTHAM, Pa. – Dan Marano's eighth-inning grand slam capped off a come-from-behind 10-8 (8 innings) victory for Franklin & Marshall's baseball team over Messiah on Monday afternoon.
The non-conference win improved the Diplomats to 9-11-1 on the year while the Falcons slipped to 5-13.
Trailing by a 7-5 score in the top of the eighth, F&M loaded the bases with no outs on the board when Marano launched a homer to right center that plated Kelsey Launi, J.J. Freeman, and Kevin Lammers.
Don DiLoreto continued the scoring in the frame, following with a double down the right-field line before reaching home on back-to-to back bunts to put the Diplomats ahead by a 10-7 score.
Messiah threatened in the bottom of the eighth with a leadoff double and an infield RBI single to pull within two, but reliever Danny Blugis registered the save with back-to-back strikeouts to retire the Falcons. The game was called due to darkness at the end of the inning.
Marano dominated at the plate with a 4-for-5 effort that included two home runs and seven RBIs. Kengo Kawahara totaled a 2-for-3 line with two RBIs and a run scored from the leadoff position, while DiLoreto was 2-for-5 with a run scored. Freeman drew three walks on the day and scored a pair of runs.
The Diplomats led in hits at 11-9. However, the Falcons reached base 11 times on walks.
C.J. Roth (1-0) garnered the win out of the bullpen, tossing 3 2/3 innings and allowing two earned on three hits. Chase Peiffer (0-2) was charged with the loss for Messiah after surrendering three earned on three hits in 2 1/3 innings of relief.
Centennial Conference (CC) play continues tomorrow when F&M hosts Ursinus at 3:30 p.m.