|Kevin Haag||Connor Harding||Kyler McAllister|
Junior Kevin Haag (Ossining, N.Y./Ossining/Bridgton Academy (Maine)) broke The University of Scranton's single season doubles record on Thursday, but Franklin & Marshall prevailed in a back-and-forth non-conference baseball game, 8-7, at Volpe Field.
Haag had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a three-run home run and two runs scored while collecting his 15th and 16th doubles at the plate to tie, and then break, the Royals single-season record which had stood since 2000 when Jim Powell had 15 doubles.
Franklin & Marshall (24-12) scored three runs in the top of the second, only one of which was earned, to take a 3-0 lead, before adding a run in the visitor's fourth to extend their advantage to four runs.
Haag led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and came around to score the Royals' first run of the game on an RBI base hit from freshman Chris Wagner (Westfield, N.J./Westfield).
Senior Ian McIntosh (Newtown, Pa./LaSalle College H.S.) came home later in the inning as sophomore Kyler McAllister (Jefferson Township, Pa./Scranton Prep) grounded into a double play as Scranton (12-17) cut its deficit to 4-2.
Haag launched a three-run home run deep over the fence in right center with two outs in the home fifth to give the Royals their first lead of the game, 5-4. The home run, Haag's second in as many days, was his fifth of the season and 13th of his career.
The Diplomats answered with four runs on five hits in the top of the seventh to retake the lead, 8-5 before Scranton got a run back in the home half of the frame as sophomore Kevin Johnson (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central) scored as McIntosh reached on a fielder's choice.
An RBI groundout by sophomore pinch hitter Ben Grochowski (Old Forge, Pa./Old Forge) plated sophomore Matthew Pinto (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) in the bottom of the eighth to cut Scranton's deficit to a run, 8-7.
Haag hit his record-breaking double with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but the Diplomats stranded the potential tying run at second base with a fly out and a strikeout to end the game.
Sophomore Connor Harding (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) had three hits including a double in the game while McAllister added two hits for the Royals on the day.
Freshman starter Josh Lydon (Shavertown, Pa./Dallas) took a no-decision with three runs, one earned, against and one strikeout in two innings.
Sophomore Alex DeRosa (Hillsdale, N.J./Pascack Valley) was charged with the loss after yielding four runs in 4.1 innings while fanning three batters. Senior Matt McDonald (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) worked two-thirds of inning with one run against before turning the ball over to senior Pat Rohr (Audubon, Pa./Devon Prep), who retired all six batters he faced over the final two innings.
Scranton is set to host Elizabethtown in a key Landmark Conference series this weekend beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch between the Royals and Blue Jays is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Volpe Field.