FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University junior right-hander Brandon Cook did not allow an earned run in three innings of relief work and the Patriot bats awoke to score 10 runs in the middle three innings to rally FMU to a 10-5 win over Saint Augustine's University, Wednesday afternoon (March 4) in non-conference baseball action.
Francis Marion wins for the ninth time in its last 11 outings to improve to 10-4, while the Falcons drop to 2-10.
FMU will host the Falcons of the University of Montevallo this weekend for a key three-game Peach Belt Conference series. The squads will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. on Cormell Field at Sparrow Stadium and a single contest on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Cook (1-0) relieved Patriot starter Daniel Barfield to start the third inning and FMU trailing 4-0. Cook allowed runners to reach second and third with no outs, but retired the next three Falcons in order without allowing a run. He did surrender an unearned run in the top of the fifth, but his relief work allowed Francis Marion to mount a comeback.
Trailing 4-0, the Patriots plated six runs in the last of the fourth on seven hits and one error. Four of the tallies came home with two outs. Junior center fielder Casey Clauss plated a pair of runs with a single to right and junior third baseman Randy Loew extended his season-long hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI double.
After Saint Augustine's trimmed the margin to 6-5, Francis Marion added three runs in the fifth on a two-run double off the top of the left centerfield wall by senior Zac Lenns and a run-scoring hit by pinch-hitter Zach Paquette.
FMU senior catcher Nicholas McGee capped the scoring with a two-out RBI single to center in the bottom of the sixth inning. His hit plated junior left field J.D. Crowe who had led off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball.
Loew, Crowe, McGee, Lenns, senior second baseman Matt Rubino, and sophomore shortstop Zach Callahan all registered two hits for FMU. Crowe pushed his hitting streak to 11 games and he has reached base safely in all 14 contests in 2015.
Saint Augustine's righty Sean Brassington (0-3) was tagged with the loss. He produced three scoreless frames, before allowing all six runs (five earned) in the fourth.
Falcon center fielder Jason Baytop went 2-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to seven games, while shortstop Roberto Rivera was 2-for-4 and stole home plate in the top of the first. Third baseman Carey Cheek drilled a two-run homer for the Falcons in the second.