Washington Sweeps Diplomats for First Time Since 1994
LANCASTER, PA - Senior pitcher Chris Smith (Catonsville, MD/Catonsville) tossed eight strong innings and a two-run second inning proved to be enough as visiting Washington College topped host Franklin & Marshall College, 2-1, in a Centennial Conference baseball game on Friday afternoon at Caplan Field. The Shoremen improved to 7-4 overall and 2-0 in conference play with the win, while the Diplomats fell to 5-8-1 and 0-2 respectively with the loss.
It is the first time Washington has swept the season series from F&M since 1994 when the Shoremen recorded wins by the score of 17-4 and 8-5.
Washington scored two runs in the top of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Ryan Normoyle (Mount Laurel, NJ/Lenape) singled to lead off the frame and stole second base. He would score on a single by sophomore Ben Jardot (McLean, VA/Flint Hill School) to put the Shoremen up 1-0. Jardot would advance to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by freshman Huntley Mitchell (Baltimore, MD/Boys Latin).
The Diplomats would load the bases with one out in the bottom of the third, but Smith struck out Jason Anderson for the second out and got Nick Rolnick to ground out into a fielder's choice at third base to quelch the threat.
The Shoremen got runners on second and third with one out in the top of the fourth, but could not score. The Diplomats cut the deficit in their half of the fourth when Bill Murray launched a solo home run to left-center leading off the bottom half of the inning to trim the WC lead to 2-1. Neither side would get a runner past second base in between the top of the fifth inning and the top of the ninth.
Smith would give way to senior hurler Chris Keiper (Toms River, NJ/Monsignor Donovan) for the bottom of the ninth. Murray led off the frame with a single through the left side, but was erased on a fielder's choice off of a bunt by Russell Tischler. Tischler would thrown out at second on a fielder's choice for the second out. Blue Wells would reach on an error to keep the game going and Eric Bornstein would move to second on the miscue. However, Keiper would get Drew Atkins to hit a grounder to Normoyle and he tossed it to freshman Tyler Cotterell (Lincroft, NJ/Middletown South) at second base for the force play to seal the win.
For the Shoremen, Smith went the first eight innings, allowing just six hits, one run and striking out five. He retired the last 12 F&M batters. He improves to 2-1 on the season and Keiper records his third save of the season. At the plate, Normoyle, Jardot and freshman Sean Connole (Mt. Airy, MD/St. John's Catholic) each tallied two hits.
Josh Gray was the tough luck loser for the Diplomats and falls to 2-1. He went seven innings, allowing seven hits, fanning seven hitters and surrendered just two runs. Brendan McCreary tossed the last two innings and did not allow a run. Hitting wise for F&M, Murray went 2-for-4 including a home run for the lone run of the day for the hosts.
The Shoremen return to action tomorrow with a home Centennial Conference doubleheader against visiting Haverford. First pitch of the twinbill at Athey Baseball Park is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.