FRANKLIN, Ind. – Earlham College baseball was held to a combined 10 hits over both ends of a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Franklin College on Saturday, and was swept by the Grizzlies, 9-1 and 13-2, at McDowell Field.
The Quakers remain in third place in the HCAC standings despite the losses, which dropped Earlham's record to 23-9 overall, 7-5 HCAC.
The Grizzlies, ranked No. 22 in this week's D3baseball.com Top 25 poll, improved to 26-2, 11-1 HCAC.
From there, Earlham struggled to get its offense in gear and managed to get a runner past second base just once the rest of the way: in the sixth inning, when Shake got aboard with a leadoff base hit and was singled over to third by Dre Davis' base knock to left field.
After the Earlham sixth, the Quakers were retired in order in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings.
Franklin got the go-ahead runs in the third inning. Brandt Pawley crossed on a single into centerfield which turned into an Earlham error, and Ryan Bixler scored later in the frame on a passed ball.
The Grizzlies tacked on a single run in the fourth, before erupting for a six-run outburst in the sixth on five hits and a Quaker error. Ryan Erlandson had the big hit of the stanza with a two-out, two-run single into right field.
Earlham starter Walter Talcott went five-and-two-thirds and allowed eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits with one strikeout, and was charged with the loss. Franklin's Christian Sullivan fanned 10 Quaker batters in the complete game win.
Franklin got out to an early lead in the second game of the twinbill, plating seven runs in the second inning on seven hits including a two-run shot over the left field fence off the bat of Bixler. Pawley also did some damage in the second with a two-run single up the middle earlier in the frame.
The Grizzlies went to post two runs in the fifth and four in the eighth to pad their lead.
Earlham broke Franklin's shutout bid with a single run in the third, when Davis' sacrifice fly to left field allowed Addison Robertson to score.
An Ian Bach solo home run in the eighth, the first of his career, accounted for the remaining Quaker run.
Joey Gerbus lasted just one-and-two-thirds innings on his way to the loss, and four different Quaker pitchers saw action in the contest. Three Grizzly pitchers were used in the win, with reliever Nate Stonebraker earning the win with his four-inning stint.
The Quakers are on the road again next Saturday, when they travel to Anderson, Ind., to face Anderson University in an HCAC doubleheader. Start time to the twinbill is 12:00 p.m.
For more information about Earlham baseball, visit the online home of Earlham College athletics at www.GoEarlham.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Earlham athletics news by following Earlham Quakers on Facebook (Earlham Quakers Athletics), Twitter (@EarlhamQuakers), and Instagram (EarlhamQuakers).