GREENCASTLE, Ind. – The Franklin College baseball team stepped out of conference play on Thursday (Apr. 26) afternoon, taking on DePauw University in search of a season sweep of their in-state rival.
Six different Grizzlies (29-2) drove in at least one run with Ryan Erlandson, Ryan Bixler and Alex Mis plating two runs each. Erlandson also matched the program record for walks drawn in a season with a third inning free pass that gives him 39 on the year. Four Franklin pitchers combined to allow just two hits as the team recorded their first shutout of the year.
After a scoreless first inning, the Grizzlies pounced for four runs in the second and never looked back. Jarrod Smith opened the scoring with a single that brought two runs home. Two batters later, the Grizzlies would add another as a throwing error allowed Smith to score from third on a double steal. Erlandson added to the lead with a sacrifice fly, scoring Brandt Pawley to make it 4-0 Franklin.
One inning later, the Grizzlies added to the lead when Mis cranked a two-out, two-run home run over the left center field wall. It was the second long ball of the year for the Munster, Ind.-native. Later in the inning, Erlandson plated the Grizzlies' seventh run with another sacrifice fly.
Brandt Pawley and Bixler put Franklin up by double figures with RBIs in the top of the fifth. Pawley's came on a fielder's choice while Bixler became the first player in the HCAC to 40 RBI with a two-run single. Drew Naumovich capped the scoring with an RBI double in the sixth, scoring Mis.
Connor Morton improved to 6-0 on the year after allowing two hits, walking one and striking out five over four innings. Jackson White, Tanner Nicholson and Alex Reinoehl all tossed scoreless innings in relief.
The Grizzlies return to action at home on Saturday (Apr. 28) with a pair of games against Mount St. Joseph University. It's also Senior Day on Saturday at John P. McDowell Field with senior day ceremonies set to take place before game one. First pitch is set for noon.