Team Wins 22nd Game of the Year To Set Single Season Mark For Wins
CHESTERTOWN, MD – Host Washington College scored twice in the ninth inning to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win over visiting Franklin & Marshall on Tuesday afternoon at Athey Baseball Park in Centennial Conference baseball action. The Shoremen improve to 22-4 overall and 7-2 in the conference, while the Diplomats drop to 16-13 and 5-4 respectively. With the win, Washington set the mark for wins in a season at 22, breaking the old mark of 21 set by the 1997 team.
F&M led 2-1 entering the bottom of the ninth and Diplomats' pitcher Matt Valente was three outs away from a complete game win. With one out and the bases loaded following an infield single to shortstop by sophomore Ian Remington (Guilford, CT/Guilford), Valente was pulled for closer Paul Giulio. With sophomore Nick Marinelli (Ellicott City, MD/Marriotts Ridge) at the plate, Giulio uncorked a wild pitch and freshman Scott Matthews (Goshen, NY/Don Bosco Prep (NJ) scored the tying run to even the game at 2-2 and there were runners on second and third. After Giulio got Marinelli to pop out to Aaron Gillette at second for the second out, Giulio intentionally walked junior Sean Connole (Mt. Airy, MD/St. John's Catholic) to reload the bases and the Shoremen sent up sophomore Jon Mahaffey (Sykesville, MD/Century) to the plate. On a 1-1 pitch, Giulio hit Mahaffey and that forced in freshman Matt Christopher (Kennett Square, PA/Unionville) from third base for the game-winning run and the Shoremen their record setting victory.
Washington took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when senior Ryan Normoyle (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) hit a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Marinelli, who led off the inning with a single up the middle.
The Diplomats answered right back with two runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead. Alex Vescera struck out, but reached first on a wild pitch to lead off the inning. He moved to third on a single through the right side by J.T. Triantos on a hit-and-run play. F&M tied it when Will Benenson doubled to left and plated Vescera and Triantos moved to third. Triantos scored on a sacrifice fly down the right field line that scored Triantos and put the Diplomats up 2-1. That score would hold up until the last of the ninth.
Prior to the ninth, Washington's best chance to tie it was in the bottom of the seventh with Matthews on second base. Freshman Dennis Thomas (Baltimore, MD/Archbishop Curley) singled to center, but Matthews was thrown out at the plate on a perfect relay from centerfielder Brian Erb to first baseman Triantos to catcher Josh Mendelson.
For the Shoremen on the mound, senior pitcher Shane Mattingly (Ellicott City, MD/Centennial) got the win and improves to 5-0 on the season. He tossed his second straight complete game victory as he struck out 11 batters, scattered three hits and allowed just two earned runs while walking two. It is the fifth time this season that Mattingly has punched out 10 or more hitters and the second straight outing he has recorded double digits in strikeouts. He did not allow a hit after the fourth inning. At the plate, junior Tyler Cotterell (Lincroft, NJ/Middletown South) had two of Washington's seven hits on the day.
Valente was the hard luck loser on the hill for the Diplomats and drops to 2-5. He went 8 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits, three earned runs, walking two and striking out two. Giulio went 1/3 of an inning and walked a batter. Benenson had two of F&M's three hits as both of his hits were doubles.
Washington has won three straight at home against F&M and four of the last five in the series.
The two teams will meet again on Friday up in Lancaster, PA on F&M's home turf at 3:30 p.m.