WESTFIELD, Ind. – The Franklin College baseball team headed to Grand Park on Thursday (Mar. 14) night for a showdown under the lights with the Calvin College Knights.
The Grizzlies (2-2) held a lead mid-way through the game, but the late innings belonged to the Knights (2-1) as Calvin used a big eighth inning to take control of the game and pick up a 12-7 win.
Calvin jumped out to an early lead with a run in each of the first two innings, but the Grizzlies erased that lead in their second trip to the plate. With two outs and a runner on, Jordan Clark stepped in and launched the first pitch he saw into the howling wind and over the wall in right center field to tie the game at two. It was the first round-tripper for the senior since 2017.
Two innings later, Franklin had the bases loaded with one out in the inning with junior Quenton Wellington up to bat. Just like Clark did two innings earlier, Wellington belted a pitch over the right center field wall for his first career home run, a grand slam that gave the Grizzlies a 6-2 lead.
But the Franklin bats would go cold as the night wore on, and the Knight took advantage. Calvin plated one run in both the sixth and seventh innings to cut the lead to one before a six-run eighth put them in front for good. Franklin would load the bases in their half of the eighth and get a run on a wild pitch, but would leave the bags full with the tying run at the plate.
Sophomore Krae Sparks was brilliant in his second career start, allowing three hits and two earned runs while punching out 10 over 5 2/3 innings of work. Sam Claycamp went 2-for-4 on the night while Clark and Alex Mis each scored twice.
Franklin heads east on Saturday (Mar. 16) for their first true road games of the year, traveling to Wilmington, Ohio for a twin bill against the Wilmington Quakers. First pitch of game one is set for 1:00 p.m.