Franklin, Ind. - The Franklin College baseball team secured its seventh-straight berth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) tournament by winning its home series against Bluffton University to conclude the 2014 regular season. The Grizzlies split a doubleheader, winning 12-5 before losing 7-6 on Saturday from John P. McDowell Field.
Franklin (24-15, 15-10 HCAC) will be the No. 4 seed and play tournament host Manchester University in the first round on Thursday, May 8. Game time has yet to be determined.
Saturday's split came after the Grizzlies captured the series opener 10-1 on Friday.
Franklin scored in seven of its eight at bats to win Saturday's first game. Trailing 1-0, the hosts plated five runs in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore Drew Kammerer (Fortville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) hit a two-run triple to give the Grizzlies the advantage. Kammerer later scored on a groundout from freshman Cody Shipley (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo). Senior Scott Windler (Lafayette, Ind./Lafayette Central Catholic) connected on the second triple of the inning to plate junior Jameson Brock (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville). Windler's base hit gave Franklin a 4-1 lead. Windler scored on a run-scoring single from sophomore Joe Ardizzone (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli).
The Grizzlies scored one run each between the third through seventh innings to extend the lead to 10-3.
Sophomore Hayden Cleveland (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) recorded a season-high 12 strikeouts over eighth inning. The left hander earned his seventh victory on the season.
Junior Tyler Ison (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) led the team's 16-hit attack, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Brock went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two runs batted in. Shipley drove in three runs and had two hits. Junior Mitch Frey (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) tallied three hits in the opener.
In the second game, Bluffton (21-18, 13-12 HCAC) scored twice in the fifth and sixth inning to hold a 7-4 lead. Franklin chipped away at the deficit when Ardizzone lined a two-run double in the eighth inning. However, reliever David Ianiro retired all four batters he faced in recording his ninth save of the season.
Senior Rickey DuBois (Mishawaka, Ind./Penn) and Brock each had two hits. Franklin recorded 12 hits in the second game.