GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's baseball team kept itself in the hunt for a Centennial Conference Championship on Saturday with a sweep of Gettysburg. The Diplomats (9-4, 9-3 CC) won the opening game by a 12-3 score before capping the doubleheader with a 5-2 victory in game two. With the win, Franklin & Marshall is even in the loss column with Johns Hopkins with just a doubleheader against Dickinson to be made up.
Game 1: Franklin & Marshall 12, Gettysburg 3
In game one, Franklin & Marshall scored in five of its nine times up to bat. The Diplomats finished the game with 15 hits as every starter recorded at least one base knock. Kyle Roche improved to 6-0 on the year on the mound with seven strong innings of three-hit ball as he did not allow an earned run while striking out 12. Brooks Rush closed the game with two innings of relief work.
Just two batter into the first game, Will Samuel made it a 2-0 score as he launched a home run over the right field fence after Matt Gluck started the game with a base hit. Michael Cole later rapped an RBI single into right field to make it 3-0 before Gettysburg even came to bat. An unearned run made it 4-0 after two innings before RBI hits from Pat Elliott and Tommy Denlinger made it 7-0 just three innings into the afternoon. Denlinger finished the game 3-for-3 at the plate with two walks, an RBI, and two runs scored.
J.J. Freeman was one of five F&M players with multiple hits during the opener. He had RBI hits during the seventh and ninth innings while also scoring on a Jakob Hoffman RBI triple in the seventh. Samuel, Hoffman, and Cole joined Freeman and Denlinger with multiple hits in the opener.
Game 2: Franklin & Marshall 5, Gettysburg 2
Matt Devlin got the start for game two and made it back-to-back games in which the Diplomats' starting pitchers did not allow an earned run. He pitched the first five innings to pick up his third win of the season. During that time, he allowed just four hits and struck out six before giving way to the bullpen. Thomas McLaughlin, Greg Nieskens, and Stephen Turzai combined to allow just five hits and two runs over the final four innings of the 5-2 victory.
Jakob Hoffman led the F&M offense in game two with a 3-for-4 game at the plate. It was his bat that got things started in the top of the first as his triple plated Denlinger to once again put Franklin & Marshall in front early. Freeman carried over his momentum from the first game with an RBI single in the third. He and Samuel then perfectly executed a double steal of second and home. Freeman came around to score on a defensive miscue from the Bullets to make it 4-0.
Steven Rizzo delivered the final insurance run of game two for F&M with his solo home run over the left field fence during the top of the fourth inning. After scoring during each of its first four times up to bat, F&M turned the game over to its pitching a defense. Gettysburg finished the second game with nine hits, but the Diplomats were able to avoid any major damage but stranding 12 Bullets on the base paths.
Johns Hopkins currently sits in first place in the conference standings after sweeping Muhlenberg to conclude its conference slate with an 11-3 record. The Diplomats handed JHU two of those three defeats earlier this season. With a 9-3 record, F&M is the only other team alive in the chase for the Centennial Conference Championship. The Diplomats await the rescheduling of their doubleheader with Dickinson as they look to match JHU's conference mark.