FRANKLIN, Ind. – After more than two weeks away from their home field, the Franklin College baseball team returned to action at John P. McDowell Field on Tuesday (Apr. 30) afternoon for two games against the Anderson Ravens in a showdown between two teams near the top of the HCAC standings.
Senior Sam Claycamp mashed a pair of home runs and knocked in seven runs on the day as Franklin (25-11, 12-4 HCAC) picked up a sweep of the Ravens (19-13, 9-7 HCAC) with scores of 6-4 and 10-4. Of his four hits on the afternoon, none was bigger for Claycamp than the go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the seventh in game one that put Franklin in front for good.
With the two wins, the Grizzlies have clinched one of the top two seeds in the upcoming Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament. The Grizzlies sit one-up in the win column on league-leading Rose-Hulman to start the final week of regular season play.
Game One: Franklin 6 – Anderson 4
The Ravens jumped out to an early lead with a two-run first inning, but Franklin was able to cut the deficit in half in their first trip to the plate thanks to a Claycamp sacrifice fly. But the Grizzly offense struggled to generate offense over the next five innings, managing just three hits and faced a 4-1 deficit heading into the bottom of the seventh.
With just nine outs to left, the Grizzlies went to work in the seventh, loading the bases with one out following a single and a pair of walks. Claycamp would change the game with one swing of the bat, belting a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center field for a grand slam, flipping momentum and giving Franklin a 5-4 lead.
Logan Demkovich added an insurance run in the eighth, knocking in pinch runner Garrett Ramsey with a single and stretching the lead to a pair. Nate Stonebraker worked a pair of scoreless innings at the end of the game to earn his sixth save of the year and 10th of his career, moving him into second place on the program's all-time list.
Jordan Clark (3-0) scattered six hits over seven innings of work, walking three and striking out three to earn the win.
Game Two: Franklin 10 – Anderson 4
For the second game in row, the Ravens took the lead in their first trip to the plate and Franklin would answer in the bottom of the inning. Quenton Wellington took the third pitch her saw in the first inning and smacked a solo shot just inside the left field foul pole to even things up at a run each.
Two innings later, the Grizzlies gained a stranglehold on the game with a five-run inning. Claycamp put Franklin ahead for good with a two-run blast and was followed by a Demkovich two-run double and a Brandt Pawley RBI single to make it a 6-1 game.
Nick Wright brought home a run with a single in the fourth to pad the lead and the Grizzlies would add one run in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, respectively, to close out the scoring.
Ben Sprinkle (4-1) took over for starter Nick Elmendorf in the top of the fifth inning, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and two punch-outs in 2.2 innings. Elmendorf surrendered a pair of unearned runs and five hits over 4.1 innings of work. Alex Reinoehl and Ethan Adams combined to hold the Ravens hitless over the final two innings.
Franklin closes out conference play on Friday (May 3) afternoon, welcoming Defiance College to John P. McDowell Field for Senior Day. First pitch of game one is set for 1:00 p.m. with senior day festivities taking place prior to game one.