FLORENCE, SC – Junior right-hander Austin Hawley and two relievers combined for an eight-hit shutout as Francis Marion University blanked Wingate University 2-0, Sunday afternoon (Feb. 5) in the final game of the 2017 Carolinas Hospital System Baseball Classic.
FMU moves to 3-0 and will host Southern Wesleyan University on Friday at 2 p.m. in the opening game of the Pepsi Pop-Off Classic.
Hawley (1-0) scattered seven hits in his five-innings, while striking out five and walking one. Sophomore lefty Arien Seymour recorded one out in the sixth before sophomore righty Cole Hinnant finished up with 3.2 hitless frames. He fanned four and walked no one to earn the save.
For the second consecutive game, FMU benefited from a wild pitch with a runner on third base. Junior catcher William Robbins led off the fourth inning with a single to left center field. Junior designated hitter Tee DuBose followed with a single and both movers moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by senior shortstop Zach Callahan.
Robbins scored with junior outfielder Zach Paquette at the plate as he swung through a pitch in the dirt that got past the Wingate catcher. Paquette then plated DuBose with an RBI single through the right side as the Patriots claimed a 2-0 advantage.
Hinnant entered the game in the top of the sixth with Bulldog runners on second and third and only one out. He retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a ground out (nice play up the middle by senior second baseman Antonio Pino), and eventually retired all 11 batters he faced.
Robbins and junior outfielder and lead-off man Brooks Kennedy both rapped out two hits for FMU. Kennedy and freshman third baseman Harris White are the only Patriot batters to collect a hit in all three of the weekend games.
Wingate starter Hunter Morgan (0-1) was tagged with the loss. He allowed the two runs on eight hits, while striking out six in 6.1 innings of work. Two Bulldogs posted a pair of hits on Sunday: second baseman Zach Little and catcher Micah Goodwin.