RECAP | Dominant Pitching, Extra Inning Rally Highlights Sweep of Mount St. Joseph

Photo courtesy of Dan Doles
Photo courtesy of Dan Doles

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Franklin College baseball team ran their winning streak to six games on Sunday (Apr. 28) afternoon, sweeping Mount St. Joseph in their final road conference games of the year.

Game one saw a quartet of Grizzly (23-11, 10-4 HCAC) hitters finish with three hits and the team hit three home runs in a 10-1 win. Game two required extra innings, but a three-run 10th ininng ended up being the difference as Franklin completed a sweep of the Lions (9-20, 2-9 HCAC) with a 5-2 win.

Game One: Franklin 10 – Mt. St. Joseph 1
Franklin erased an early deficit when Bixler homered with a man on in the top of the second to put the Grizzlies in front. Sam Claycamp padded the lead with a run-scoring single in the third and one inning later, Logan Demkovich dealt the game's big blow with a three-run home run, his second of the year making it a 6-1 game.

That cushion proved to be more than enough for starter Aaron Leming (6-1), who scattered seven hits and struck out three over seven sparkling innings of work. Tanner Nicholson and Nick McClanahan worked one scoreless frame each to close out the game, as Franklin added runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to pad their lead.

Bixler, Demkovich, Claycamp and Quenton Wellington went 3-for-5 at the plate in the opener. Four different Grizzlies scored twice in the game while Wellington and Drew Naumovich recorded two stolen bases each.

Game Two: Franklin 5 – Mount St. Joseph 2 (10 inn.)
For the first seven innings, Franklin's Krae Sparks was locked in a pitcher's duel with the Lions' Alex Wagner. Both starting pitchers allowed just four hits and the game remained scoreless until the eighth inning when Jarrod Smith ripped a two-out, two-run triple into the right center field gap.

But the Lions would counter with a two-run double of their own in the bottom of the ninth to tie things up and send the game to extras. Franklin would put two of the first three batters on in the 10th, and Alex Mis put the Grizzlies back on top with an RBI single. Smith followed with a squeeze but that brought in another run and Demkovich added to the lead with a run-scoring ground out.

Nate Stonebraker (4-2) allowed one hit over two innings of work in relief, striking out a pair. Sparks was brilliant over eight innings of work, allowing seven hits and striking out seven in his longest outing of the year.

The Grizzlies return to action at John P. McDowell Field on Tuesday (Apr. 30), when they welcome the Anderson Ravens to town. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.