INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 6, 2017)- The Franklin College baseball team overcame an early 5-0 deficit to defeat Manchester University 9-5 and keep their HCAC Tournament hopes alive.
The first five Manchester hitter reached and scored in the top of the first inning, staking the Spartans to an early lead. The Grizzlies would battle back, scoring two runs in the first inning courtesy of a Nick Wright two run home run. Franklin would score a single run in the second and third inning to cut the lead to 5-4.
Franklin erased the early deficit for good in bottom of the sixth. After a leadoff double by Sam Claycamp, Wright followed with his second two run home run of the game to give the Grizzlies a 6-5 lead. Jarrod Smith continued the rally with a one out single and Drew Naumovich capped the comeback with a two run home run of his own to stake the Grizzlies to a 8-5 lead. Franklin would add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Frank Podkul, scoring Wright.
After a shaky first inning, Franklin starting pitcher Jordan Clark settled in to hold the Spartans scoreless the rest of the game. With the help of three double plays, Clark fired eight innings while scattering five hits and striking out nine to improve to 7-0 on the year. Aaron Leming pitched a scoreless ninth inning, inducing a fourth double play and recording a strike out.
Offensively, the Grizzlies were led by Wright, who recorded three hits, four runs batted in, and scored three runs. Ryan Erlandson also finshed with three hits and an RBI. Naumovich collected two hits and drove in two.
With the win, the team improves to 21-15 overall and 13-10 in HCAC play. The two teams return to action tomorrow for a critical doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1PM from John P. McDowell Field.