FLORENCE, SC – A pair of Augusta University relief pitchers combined to hurl six scoreless innings allowing the Jaguars to rally for a 7-4 win over 18th-ranked Francis Marion University, Sunday afternoon (Feb. 26) in Peach Belt Conference baseball action.
Francis Marion (13-2, 2-1) was going for a sweep of the season-opening PBC series. FMU will play St. Augustine's University in Cary, N.C., on Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Patriots will return home next weekend to host the College of Saint Rose for a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. and a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Junior left fielder Brooks Kennedy led the Patriots at the plate with a 3-for-4 day that included a double, two runs scored, and two driven in. Both FMU middle infielders, Zach Callahan and Antonio Pino, went 2-for-4.
Francis Marion starter Austin Hawley (2-2) was tagged with the loss as he allowed six runs, all earned, on six hits with five strikeouts in 2.2 innings. The Patriot relief corps of Arien Seymour, Garrett Wilson, and Connor Pate combined for 6.1 innings of work that included only one run allowed on three hits with six strikeouts.
Augusta senior southpaw Matthew Kuhlenberg (1-2) entered the game in the bottom of the fourth and allowed only two singles in five innings of work, while striking out five. Jaguar righty Joey Stillwell pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up his first save of the year.
Both teams scored runs in the first frame, with junior catcher William Robbins plating the FMU tally with a two-out single. Francis Marion scored three times in the second inning to take a 4-1 advantage. Kennedy doubled home two runs, while junior Zach Paquette's RBI-single up the middle accounted for the other run.
Augusta scored five times in the top of the third knocking Hawley from the mound and taking a 6-4 advantage. Center fielder Clint Hardy clouted a three-run homer to left and catcher Brent Alford rapped out a two-out, two-run double to right field.
FMU left runners on the corners in the bottom of the third inning and that would be the last time a Patriot base runner would visit second base.
Paquette extended his streak of safely reaching base to 11 games, while freshman third baseman Harris White saw his season-long streak of safely reaching base end.
Third baseman Cole Janousek had three hits for the Jaguars (5-7, 1-2).