1978 Baseball Team
Induction Year: 1991
Sport(s): Baseball
Graduation Year: 1978

In 1978, the F&M Diplomat baseball team, under the leadership of coach Don Wert, became the Cinderella of the Middle Atlantic Conference championship. While the team's overall regular season record was only 12-11-1, the Diplomats played well against MAC Southwest Section opponents, compiling a 9-2-1 record. A split against Gettsyburg was all that was needed on the final weekend of the regular season to qualify for the MAC playoffs. Tom Buchman '78 rose to the challenge by pitching a three-hit shutout to assure victory. Dan Rhoads '80 had three hits to lead an 11-hit attack. The first game of the playoffs matched F&M against Widener, a team that had beaten the Diplomats earlier, 5-1. This time the score was reversed as Bachman again rose to the challenge, giving up onlyrun on eight hits. The game featured clutch hitting, most notably three safeties by Bill Harford '78. The championship game opponent was Wilkes College. F&M trailed 0-3 going into the bottom of the 7th inning. They got their only three hits of the game to fashion a five-run inning to take a 5-3 lead. Jeff Wagner ?80 started and pitched fine ball before giving way to reliever Bill Hartnett '81 in the ninth inning. Wilkes scored once in the ninth, but Hartnett got the conference's leading hitter to foul out to Chris Martino '78 to end the game. Chuck Cartwright '84 contributed to the victory with two outstanding defensive plays in center field. Wiles and Widener were both selected for the NCAA tournament while F&M, the team that had beaten both, stayed home. Tim Christman '78 was the team MVP. Rhoads led the team in batting with a .351 average, while top pitchers were Bachman (6-2) with a 1.86 ERA and Wagner (5-2) with 2.11 ERA.