FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College baseball team wrapped up the home portion of their schedule on Friday (May 3) afternoon, taking on Defiance College on Senior Day at John P. McDowell Field.
Prior to the game, the Grizzlies honored seniors Ethan Adams, Jordan Clark, Aaron Leming, Nate Stonebraker, Drew Naumovich, Ben Sprinkle, Tanner Nicholson and Sam Claycamp. Franklin (25-13, 12-6 HCAC) would drop both game to Defiance (19-14-1, 8-8 HCAC) by scores of 11-10 and 5-4, respectively.
Game One: Defiance 11 – Franklin 10
It was all Yellow Jackets early on as the guests jumped out to a double-digit lead through 5 ½ innings of play. After accumulating six hits in their first five trips to the plate, the Grizzlies finally broke through for six runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it a ball game.
Alex Mis got the Grizzlies on the board with a two-run double and was followed by RBI from Quenton Wellington, Naumovich, Claycamp and Nick Wright. One inning later, the Grizzlies were back within a run after a two-run double by Logan Demkovich and an RBI single by Brandt Pawley.
Defiance added a critical insurance run in the eighth, but Franklin would threaten in their half of the ninth inning. Claycamp brought the Grizzlies back within a run with an RBI double, but Franklin was unable to add the tying run.
Aaron Leming (6-2) was lifted after three innings that saw him allow five runs on four hits with four walks and a pair of strikeouts. Five relievers took the Grizzlies through the final six innings.
Game Two: Defiance 5 – Franklin 4 (8 inn.)
A perfectly executed double steal led to the opening run of game two when Naumovich swiped second and Wellington stole home. Later in the first inning, Ryan Bixler plated two runs with a single through the right side, staking Franklin to an early 3-0 lead.
Defiance evened things up in the second with a three-run home run, but the Grizzlies would jump back in front in the bottom of the third on a Jarrod Smith sacrifice fly, making it a 4-3 game. But the Yellow Jackets would answer to tie the game in the fifth and take the lead for good in the top of the seventh. The game was called after eight innings due to darkness.
Krae Sparks got the start for Franklin and lasted six innings, giving up four runs on five hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts. Stonebraker (4-3) tossed the final two innings for Franklin.
The Grizzlies wrap up the regular season on Sunday (May 5) afternoon with two games on the road against Otterbein. First pitch of game one is set for 1:00 p.m.