Eagle Lake, FL - Junior Pete Roma (Endicott, NY) came out of the gate strong in his first start, fanning six in a complete-game effort as the Clarkson University Baseball team split a doubleheader against Franklin & Marshall, winning the opener 5-3 and dropping the nightcap 6-3, Friday afternoon at Lake Region High School.
The Golden Knights picked up their first victory and moved to 1-3 on the season, while the Diplomats moved to 4-7. Clarkson will take on Oswego State on Saturday evening in a nine-inning game.
Clarkson scored a run in the top of the first on a one-out, bases loaded groundout from Dan Lenney (Clifton Park, NY), but the Diplomats scored a pair of runs on back-to-back hits from Kevin Shields and Avery Attinson. However, Roma settled down after a 22-pitch first inning and mowed through the next three frames with only 27 pitches. By that point, the Knights had reclaimed the lead with a four-run third inning. Kyle Henchey (Rensselaer, NY) and Pete Lasecki (Stratford, CT) each forced home runs as they reached bases thanks to Franklin & Marshall errors, and sophomore Tim Beninati (Schoharie, NY) followed with a two-run single to right-center to score both Lenney and Henchey.
The Diplomats scored their own unearned run in the bottom of the sixth to crawl back within two runs, but Roma wiggled out of trouble in the seventh to claim the victory. Roma finished up his start with six strikeouts and just one walk while allowing six hits over seven frames. He threw 74 strikes among his 111 pitches. Offensively, Lenney was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Beninati was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs driven in.
In the second game, the Diplomats scored a pair on a two-run single in the top of the first, but the Knights knotted things up at 2-2 in the bottom of the second with a one-out, two-run single from Greg Jasek (Chittenango, NY), plating both Connor Martin (Baldwinsville, NY) and Nolan Driscoll (Troy, NY), who had both reached on hits earlier in the inning. Franklin & Marshall responded with a pair of runs in the top half of the third and never lost the lead again, despite Bobby Derico (Watervliet, NY) scoring Henchey home with an RBI-groundout in the fifth.
Clarkson's Jarrod Mattingly (Phildelphia, NY) was saddled with the loss despite pitching well. The junior righty struck out seven over five innings, including three looking, matching his season total from last year in 25 innings. Alex Guerra gained the win for the Diplomats, whiffing a pair while allowing six hits and two walks in six innings.