FLORENCE, SC – Senior right-hander Chance DuCharme pitched eight shutout innings and Francis Marion University took advantage of a trio of bases-loaded walks in the sixth frame to post a 5-0 win over Southern Wesleyan University, Friday afternoon (Feb. 10) in the opening game of the Pepsi Pop-Off Classic.
FMU remains unbeaten at 4-0, while the Warriors drop to 1-4. The two squads will conclude the classic with a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. As part of Homecoming 2017 festivities, admission to the twinbill is free.
DuCharme (1-0) scattered five hits over his eight innings, while striking out five and issuing only one walk. Sophomore southpaw Arien Seymour pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
The Patriots tied an NCAA all-divisions single-inning record with two sacrifice flies in the fifth inning. The run-scoring fly balls by junior outfielders Brooks Kennedy and Reese Cooley snapped a scoreless deadlock and staked FMU to a 2-0 advantage.
An inning later, Kennedy, Cooley and junior outfielder Zach Paquette all drew RBI bases-loaded walks to up the margin to 5-0.
Southern Wesleyan's Conner Ewing drilled a one-out double off the left centerfield wall in the seventh and moved to third on a single by Drew Carson. DuCharme then fanned Julio Justo and Patriot catcher Logan Koch threw out Carson attempting to steal second base to end the threat.
Sophomore righty Mike Batten (0-1) started for Southern Wesleyan and allowed all five runs on six hits and five walks.