Albion falls on baseball's opening day

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FRANKLIN, Ind. - Albion College rallied from a 5-1 deficit to take a 7-6 lead in the eighth inning, but the bullpen was unable to hold the lead. Franklin College plated three runs in the bottom half of the eighth inning to hand the Britons a 9-7 setback.

The first four Franklin batters reached base as the Grizzles greeted Briton starting pitcher Craig Conway for four first-inning runs. Scott Windler delivered a three-run homer and Drew Kammerer proudced a RBI double.

Albion got a run back in the second when Michael Fischbach launched a home run. Lee Madziar cleared the bases with a double as Albion scored four times to forge a 5-5 tie.

Franklin didn't surrender the lead, however, as Jameson Brock lifted a sacrifice fly in the Grizzlies' half of the fourth inning.

Bill Radatz pitched a scoreless seventh inning and he turned the ball over with a lead after Kyle Kowal laced a RBI single and Madziar hit into a run-scoring fielder's choice.

Albion eas able to retire Franklin's leadoff batter in the eighth, but the next four reached base safely as the Grizzlies tied the score a 7-7. Brock was hit by a pitch and Mitch Frey walked with the bases loaded to complete the scoring for the day.

Conway went six innings in his first start of the season. He yielded four earned runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Justin Brown earned the win after throwing 3.2 innings in relief of starter Seth Powers. Brown allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Fischbach produced two hits and Ben Crawford scored twicescored twice.

The teams will return to John P. McDowell fiield Saturday for a doubleheader.