FRANKLIN, Ind. – On the strength of a dominant pitching performance, coupled with some timely hitting and heads-up plays on the bases, the Franklin College baseball team opened up their home schedule with a 5-1 win over Albion on Friday afternoon.
Senior Christian Sullivan worked seven scoreless innings for the Grizzlies, scattering six hits, walking one and striking out eight to move to 2-0 on the year. At the plate, sophomore Nick Wright belted his second home run of the year and drove in two as Franklin moved to 3-0 on the young season. Sullivan discussed the win with us in the interview at the bottom of the page.
Sullivan wasted no time mowing down Albion hitters, mowing down four of the first five batters of the day with strikeouts. With the Franklin starter on his game early, the Grizzlies would give him some early support when Frank Podkul came in to score in the second on a two-out balk by Albion starter Jack Wyman to make it a 1-0 game.
Albion would threaten in both the fourth and fifth innings, putting two runners on base with two down in the inning. But each time, Sullivan would buckle down to get the final out, keeping the Grizzlies up by a run.
Wright gave the Grizzlies a little bit of space in the bottom of the seventh, crushing a one-out pitch over the left center field wall to make it a 2-0 game.
Sullivan would depart with the two-run lead and turn the ball over to junior Jordan Clark. Albion would get within a run in the top of the eighth, but Clark would slam the door shut with the go-ahead run on second base, keeping it a 2-1 game.
The Grizzlies would get creative to add some insurance in the bottom of the eighth. With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Ryan Bixler forced an errant pick-off throw on a delayed steal that allowed Brandt Pawley to score and make it a 3-1 game. After Wright singled Bixler home, Sam Claycamp would score on a wild pitch to stretch the FC lead to four.
That proved to be more than enough support for Clark, who fanned the side in the top of the ninth to pick up his second save in as many appearances, recording all six outs via the strikeout.
Wright, Pawley and Jackson Freed all recorded a pair of hits for the Grizzlies on the afternoon. Wyman allowed two earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts over seven innings of work for the Britons.
The two teams will be back at for two more games on Saturday afternoon at McDowell Field. First pitch of the double-header is set for 12:00 p.m.