Guilford Rallies in Late Innings to Sweep Franklin & Marshall

Celebrating Michael Pinkston's walkoff hit in the opener (John Bell photo, www.touchalifephotography.com)
Celebrating Michael Pinkston's walkoff hit in the opener (John Bell photo, www.touchalifephotography.com)

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Guilford College's Michael Pinkston hit a walk-off RBI-single in the 11th inning of the seven-inning game one as the Quakers claimed a Saturday afternoon doubleheader over Franklin & Marshall College. The Quakers claimed the first game, 5-4, in 11 innings of a seven-inning game while claiming the nightcap, 4-2, in seven innings.

Guilford jumped to a 3-0 lead early in game one as the Quakers' meat of their batting order produced three singles which set up a Mitchell Stumpo RBI-single to cap the three-run rally in the opening inning. Game one starting pitcher Parks Smithey followed the Quakers' rally with two innings facing the minimum amount of batters, including a stretch where he struck out three out of four batters. The Diplomats took advantage of three Guilford errors in the top of the sixth inning to drive in all Franklin & Marshall runs. The Diplomats capped their four-run rally with two-runs on the final Guilford error to claim the lead, 4-3. 

Josh Shepherd tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, driving in Jacob Roberts for the inning's second single before the Diplomats claimed the final two outs to send the game to extra innings. Franklin and Marshall placed Luke Seib on second base with two outs, but John Todd came on in relief two induce a fly out on one pitch. The Quakers put a runner on third thanks to a Grayson Tuttle single in the next half-inning, but the Diplomats produced a fielder's choice to end the inning. The Diplomats threatened in the tenth inning thanks to a David Iacobucci lead-off double as Franklin & Marshall placed runners on third twice in the inning before Todd recovered to induce a pop fly to retire the side. Andrew Brann produced a two-out double in the 11th inning to set-up Pinkston for a walk-off RBI-single to earn the victory.

The Diplomats threatened twice in the first two innings of game two, hitting two singles in the first frame and driving in a run in the second stanza, but game-two starting pitcher Darin Salter regained control to strand four Diplomats in the first two innings. The Quakers capitalized in the third on a Rocco Wilcox single to tie the game. Franklin & Marshall claimed the lead in the sixth inning, but stranded two runners in the top half of the frame. The Quakers pulled ahead in the bottom half of the inning after producing a single and walk to start the inning when Chuck Noble blasted a home run to left center field to put the Quakers ahead on their way to the twinbill sweep.

Shepherd led Guilford's bats, hitting four-for-eight over the doubleheader, including three hits in the first contest. Andrew Brann also claimed three hits in the first contest while Noble was the lone Quakers bat with multi-hits in game-two, batting two-for-three with three RBI.

Iacobucci led the Diplomats at the plate, hitting three-for-nine over the afternoon as Franklin & Marshall left a combined 19 runners on base throughout the entire afternoon, including 11 in game one.

Smithey threw seven innings in game one where he gave up four runs (all-unearned) on five hits while striking out six batters and walking four. John Todd (1-0) claimed the win for the Quakers in a three and one-third inning effort where he gave up just one hit and fanned two. Salter through five and one-third innings when Chase Shuford (1-0) relieved Salter to throw the final one and two-third innings where he gave up just one hit, walked one batter, and struck out two in the game two win.

Mack Glavin threw five and one-third innings in game one where he gave up three runs on seven hits while walking and striking out two batters. Bobby Gaston (0-1) took the loss in game one, throwing the final one and two-third innings where he struck out two and walked two. Mike Androconis (0-1) took the game one loss in a five and one-third inning effort while Gareth Fancher threw the final two-third innings giving up just one hit.

The Quakers (6-4) and Diplomats return to the diamond tomorrow for a noon contest to wrap-up the three-game series.