RECAP | Late Game Rally, Dominant Bullpen Performance Helps Grizzlies Run Win Streak to Ten

Photo courtesy of Renee Knight
Photo courtesy of Renee Knight

FRANKLIN, Ind. – For the third consecutive game, the Franklin College baseball team erased a deficit of at least four runs, keeping their perfect season intact with a 10-6 win over Capital University on a dreary Saturday afternoon at John P. McDowell Field.

The Grizzlies (10-0) fell behind by four early, but hung in and slowly began to chip away at the Crusader (7-7) lead. Franklin would explode for seven runs over a two-inning stretch late in the game to take their first lead of the day before turning things over to the bullpen, who made the lead hold up for a 10-6 FC win.

Sam Claycamp blasted his first home run of the year, part of a three-RBI afternoon. Ryan Bixler had two hits and scored three times and the FC offense drew 12 walks on the afternoon, helping key the comeback.

The Crusaders came out with an aggressive approach at the plate that led to four runs in the first and one in the second off Franklin starter Christian Sullivan. Bixler scored on a wild pitch in the first to get the Grizzlies on the board but FC trailed 5-1 after three innings of play.

In the bottom of the fourth, Franklin loaded the bases with nobody out and chopped the lead in half after Ryan Erlandson drew a bases loaded walk and Bixler brought a run home with a sacrifice fly. Capital would add another run in the sixth to make it a 6-3 game, but the Franklin rally was just around the corner.

The Grizzlies began their comeback in the bottom of the sixth when Claycamp sent a missile over the left field wall for a two-run home run to cut the Crusader lead to one. One inning later, Franklin erupted for five runs in the game's deciding half-inning.

Alex Mis led off the seventh with a double and came in to score three batters later on a squeeze bunt single from Brandt Pawley. Bixler followed with an RBI single to put Franklin in front for the first time and was followed by RBIs from Claycamp and Nick Wright. Bixler capped the frame by scoring on a wild pitch, giving the Grizzlies a 10-6 lead.

Nate Stonebraker would take over in the eighth and allow one hit and one walk over two innings of work to close out the win. Sullivan allowed six runs on nine hits with three strikeouts over five innings before turning the ball over to Alex Reinoehl (2-0), who allowed one hit over two innings of work to earn the win.

The Grizzlies and Crusaders will wrap up their weekend series with two games on Sunday (Mar. 18) afternoon at McDowell Field. First pitch is set for noon.