FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College baseball team stepped out of conference play on Tuesday (Apr. 9) afternoon, hosting in-region foe DePauw University for a pair of games at John P. McDowell Field.
In a pair of offensively-packed contests, the Grizzlies (14-10) jumped out to an early lead before the Tigers (14-10) turned to the long ball to earn a 12-8 comeback win. Game two saw Franklin break out the bats to earn a split, holding on for a 13-12 win in an eight-inning contest that was shortened by darkness.
Junior Brandt Pawley cleaned up at the plate, recording six hits in seven at-bats while driving in a pair of runs. Quenton Wellington had four hits and drove in a team-high five runs while Sam Claycamp and Alex Mis brought home four runs each.
Game One: DePauw 12 – Franklin 8
Mis got the scoring started in the bottom of the first, roping a two-out double that landed at the base of the wall in left, scoring a pair of runners. One inning later, Franklin added to the lead with a sacrifice fly from Wellington and a two-run single off the bat of Claycamp to stretch the Franklin lead to 5-0.
But momentum would flip over the next two innings as DePauw plated four runs in the third and three more in the fourth to take their first lead of the afternoon at 7-5. The Grizzlies turned to two of their heavy hitters in the bottom of the fourth, drawing even with RBI singles from Claycamp and Mis.
Following a scoreless fifth inning, the Tigers seized the lead for good with a three-run sixth followed by a pair of runs in the seventh. Wellington brought home his second run of the opener with a double in the bottom of the seventh, but it was all the offense the Grizzlies could muster before the game's end.
Nate Stonebraker started the game for Franklin, lasting 3 2/3 innings while scattering seven hits, walking two and striking out two. Ben Sprinkle (2-1) and Alex Reinoehl came out of the pen to toss the final 3 1/3 innings.
Game Two: Franklin 13 – DePauw 12 (8 inn.)
For the second straight game, Mis put the Grizzlies on the board first, doubling into the right field corner and bringing in Claycamp for the early 1-0 lead. DePauw countered with a four-run second to take the lead, but their advantage didn't last long as Franklin brought five runners across the dish in their half of the second to take a 6-4 lead.
Franklin added to the lead in the third with a Pawley RBI double, a run-scoring single from Wellington who would score later in the inning, and Drew Naumovich swiping home on a double steal to make it 10-5 Grizzlies after three.
Mis scored on a wild pitch in the fourth and Pawley would follow with an RBI double later in the inning. The Grizzlies capped their scoring in the fifth when Naumovich came in to score on a ground out that made it a 13-6 game.
But the Tigers wouldn't go quietly, plating four runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to close the gap to one. DePauw put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position in the eighth, but Tanner Nicholson was able to wiggle out of the jam to hold the lead and earn the save when the game was called after the top of the eighth.
Nicholson worked a career-high three innings, allowing two hits and two unearned runs. Mitch Merica (2-0) earned the win after 1 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Franklin wraps up a six-game homestand on Saturday (Apr. 13) afternoon, hosting Manchester for a pair of conference tilts at McDowell Field. First pitch of game one is set for noon.