SAUGET, Ill. – After a lengthy rain delay on Saturday (May 19) night, the Franklin College baseball team continued play at the NCAA Central Regional late into the next day, taking on the UT-Tyler Patriots in an elimination contest.
The Grizzlies (39-5) were overwhelmed by the Patriots (31-17) early and couldn't recover. Franklin's season would come to an end in the early morning hours of Sunday with a 10-1 defeat at the hands of the region's third-seeded team.
The Patriots opened the scoring in the first, plating an unearned run. Franklin put a runner in scoring position in their first trip to the plate, but Ryan Erlandson was left stranded on third after leading off the inning with a walk.
The rain began to fall in the top of the second and disaster struck for the Grizzlies, as the Patriots added to their lead with a seven-run frame. Franklin would get on the board with a run in the fifth on an RBI ground out by Brandt Pawley that brought Jackson Freed home.
But it was the last time the Grizzlies brought a run home on the night, as the Grizzlies went quietly over the final four innings, bringing their record-setting season to an end.
Aaron Leming (7-1) was the pitcher of record for Franklin after allowing four runs on six hits with one walk and one strikeout over 1 1/3 innings. Ben Sprinkle, Connor Morton and Alex Reinoehl all saw action on the mound in relief. Sam Claycamp and Jarrod Smith both went 2-for-4 to lead the Grizzlies at the plate.
Franklin ends their season with the most wins in program history, claiming victory 39 times in 2018 and capturing the program's second conference tournament championship berth. Saturday's game marked the final career game for seniors Frank Podkul, Jackson Freed, Erlandson, Leming, Christian Sullivan, Mitchell Caster, Peter Duncan, Mitch Schuman and Chandler Cardenas.