FLORENCE, SC – Senior shortstop Zach Callahan registered three hits and drove in three runs to lead Francis Marion University to a 9-5 victory over Saint Augustine's University, Tuesday evening (April 4) in non-conference baseball action.
FMU (26-11) has won five consecutive contests this season, and now 10 of 11 all-time against the Falcons (14-23). The Patriots will play a key Peach Belt Conference series at UNC Pembroke this coming weekend beginning with a single game on Friday at 6 p.m.
Junior outfielder Reese Cooley joined Callahan as Patriots with multiple hits as he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Cooley has now reached base safely in 19 straight contests.
FMU scored four times in the bottom of the first off Saint Augustine's starter Chris Zavala (0-1) and never trailed. Cooley plated the initial tally with an RBI-single through the left side. Senior designated hitter Logan Koch followed with a two-run double to extend his hitting streak to nine games and 20 of his last 21. One batter later, Callahan drove home Koch with a double off the left field wall.
The Falcons scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to trim the margin to 4-2, before Callahan drove in the Patriots' fifth run with a single in the bottom of the fifth.
A two-run homer down the right field line by Falcons' right fielder Timothy Carter drew Saint Augustine's to within 5-4 in the top of the seventh.
FMU got one run back in the last of the seventh on Callahan's third run-scoring hit. The Patriots then added three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to lead 9-4. Junior catcher William Robbins drove in two with a single up the middle and junior first baseman Trey Chapman added an RBI single off the third base bag.
Junior right-hander Austin Griffie (1-1) was credited with the win as he began the contest with three scoreless innings in a mid-week predetermined "Johnny Wholestaff" pitching rotation. He allowed only one hit and registered one strikeout.
Designated hitter Ruben Pinero had two hits for the Falcons.
The contest was the first Batting for Babies Night at Sparrow Stadium as Team Pepsi defeated a Pee Dee Food Service squad 30-26 in an after-the-game batting practice event.