RICHMOND, Ind. (April 1, 2017)- The Franklin College baseball team was able to win the second game of a doubleheader against Earlham College on Saturday afternoon, winning the series and gaining sole possession of first place in the HCAC.
Game 1: Earlham-7, Franklin-6
The Grizzlies were able to strike for four runs in the top of the third inning, the big blow coming from junior Frank Podkul, who connected on a three run home run.
After falling behind by two runs after 5 innings, the offense was able to answer back to tie the game 6-6, forcing the Earlham defense into two errors to knot the game.
Despite quality relief pitching from freshman Eryk Jones, the Quakers were able to scratch across an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth inning, which proved to be the deciding run in the ball game.
Podkul was the only Grizzly hitter with multiple hits in the game, adding a double to his stat line. Sophomore starting pitcher Jordan Clark took the loss, tossing five innings while surrendering five earned runs. Jones worked three innings and recorded three strikeouts.
Game 2: Franklin-5, Earlham-4
In another close game, the Grizzlies were able to come out on top late. Franklin jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first innings courtesy of freshman Nick Wright, who smashed an opposite field three run home run.
Franklin tacked on another run in the top of the third inning, when Wright singled to right field, driving in sophomore Sam Claycamp.
Once again, Earlham was able to answer back, scoring a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game at 4-4.
The score remained tied until the top of the ninth. With one out, second baseman Jordan Clark hit a sinking line drive which the Earlham rightfielder dove for. However the ball skipped over his glove and rolled to the fence, allowing Clark to advance to third base for a triple. Freshman Alex Mis followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Clark.
Despite a two out double, junior pitcher Aaron Leming slammed the door, leaving the tying run stranded at third base.
Leming provided three scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win. Senior starting pitcher Jacob McMain tossed six innings. He allowed four hits and four earned runs in a no decision.
With the split, the Grizzlies won the series after defeating Earlham on Friday evening 11-6. The team stands at 13-7 overall and 5-2 in HCAC play, good for sole possesion of first place.
This week, the Grizzlies return home to John P. McDowell field where they will host four HCAC contests. The next game is scheduled Tuesday evening at 4 PM versus Hanover. The team also hosts a three game weekend series against Defiance College, beginning at 4 PM on Friday evening.