WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Franklin College baseball team busted out the lumber on day one of their spring break trip, rolling to a 14-6 win over Elmhurst College to open a seven-game Florida road swing.
Franklin (8-3) smacked a season-high 17 hits off Blue Jay (3-4) pitching to win their fourth game in a row. Ryan Bixler, Alex Mis and Drew Naumovich all left the yard for Franklin on Saturday (Mar. 23), while five different players recorded multiple hits.
After going quietly in the first, Franklin got on the board in the top of the second when Mis and Jacob Heuchan recorded back-to-back two-out doubles to take a 1-0 lead. Three innings later, Nick Wright knocked home a pair of runs with a one-out double to the left-center field gap, scoring Bixler and Sam Claycamp to stretch the lead to 3-0.
Elmhurst cut the Grizzly lead to one with a pair of runs in the fifth, but Franklin would counter with a big top half of the sixth inning that ended up being the game's deciding frame. Matt Olovich followed up Heuchan's leadoff double with a two-bagger of his own to bring a run home and make it a 4-2 game.
Each of the next two batters would reach to load the bags for Bixler with nobody out. The junior outfielder made the most of his chance, crushing a grand slam over the left field wall for his third round-tripper of the year. Later in the frame, Heuchan brought home a pair with a single to left, capping a seven-run frame and making it a 10-2 game.
Quenton Wellington drove home runs in both the seventh and eighth innings while Mis and Naumovich smacked back-to-back solo shots to lead off the top of the eighth inning to cap the scoring. Claycamp led all players with four hits in six trips to the plate. Heuchan recorded his first career three-hit game on Saturday while Mis, Wellington and Brandt Pawley all smacked a pair of hits.
Aaron Leming (2-0) went six strong on the hill for the Grizzlies, scattering eight hits while striking out four and walking a pair on 94 pitches. Tanner Nicholson worked two innings of three-hit ball before turning things over to Jordan Crouse, who made his first career pitching performance in the ninth.
The Grizzlies continue their spring break trip on Sunday (Mar. 24) with two games against Saint Joseph's College of Maine. First pitch is set for 10:00 a.m.