Patriots pound Bearcats 11-5 to earn split

Patriots pound Bearcats 11-5 to earn split

FLORENCE, SC – Junior left fielder JD Crowe drove in four runs and senior catcher Nicholas McGee slugged a three-run home run to power Francis Marion University to an 11-5 victory over Lander University and to a split of Saturday's (March 28) Peach Belt Conference baseball doubleheader.  The Bearcats rallied to win game one 7-6 on back-to-back two-out solo homers by first baseman Chris Hyatt and right fielder Colby Lusignan in the top of the ninth inning.

Francis Marion moves to 18-10 overall and 9-6 in the PBC by virtue of its sixth win in its last seven outings. Lander is now 15-18 and 7-13. 

The two teams will conclude their weekend series with a single game on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Cormell Field at Sparrow Stadium.  Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students.

FMU junior southpaw Daniel Barfield (3-0) pitched 7.2 effective innings to earn the game-two win. He allowed only four hits, three earned runs, and two walks, while fanning six Bearcat batters. He held Lander hitless through the first four frames while Francis Marion built a 7-1 advantage.

McGee's long three-run blast to center field in the last of the second staked the Patriots to a 3-1 lead.  Crowe extended the margin to 5-1 with a two-run single in the third.  The lead ballooned to 7-1 in the fourth when a Lander throwing error allowed one to score and junior second baseman Cole Morris drilled an RBI single through the right side.

Lander rallied to within 7-4 with three runs in the fifth – highlighted by a two-run single by shortstop Will Jones.  However, Francis Marion added a single in the sixth (RBI ground out by Casey Clauss) and three insurance runs in the eighth, including another two-run single by Crowe.

Both Crowe and senior first baseman Conner Wessel were 2-for-5 in the second contest, while Morris was 2-for-4 and seven of the eight Patriot position players registered a hit.

Senior Matt Rubino singled in game two and homered in the opener to extend his hitting streak to 18 games.

Lander starter Kyle Boraski (3-3) lasted only two innings and was tagged with the loss.

In the opener, FMU held a 5-2 lead through seven innings behind the strong pitching of junior left-hander Matt Kelley.  However three walks in the eighth eventually led to a two-out, three-run double down the right field line by left fielder Alex Conaway that knotted the contest at 5-5.

In the bottom half of the frame, Francis Marion retook the lead when third baseman Randy Loew was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and took third on a wild pitch.  He then scored the go-ahead run when Clauss singled up the middle.

After FMU lefty reliever Cody Dix (1-2) retired the first two Bearcat batters in the ninth, Hyatt hit a full-count shot over the left field fence and Lusignan followed with a line-drive over the right field wall.

In the bottom of the ninth, Francis Marion got the tying run in scoring position with one out, but was unable to come up with the clutch base hit.

Lander reliever Cameron Tekker (1-3) earned the victory, while Jones moved from shortstop to the mound, retired the final three FMU batters, and garnered his second save of 2015.

Clauss and senior right fielder Zac Lenns both had two hits for Francis Marion in game one, with Clauss also driving in a pair of runs.  Rubino launched a two-run homer over the right field wall in the third inning.

Kelley struck out seven, while allowing four hits and four runs in 7.0 innings of work.

Jones and second baseman Matt White had two hits for Lander.  White also had two hits in the second contest.


Lander University 7, Francis Marion Univ. 6 (Mar 28, 2015 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Lander University...    010 001 032  -  7  7  3      (15-17, 7-12 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ. 102 200 010  -  6  7  1      (17-10, 8-6 PBC)
Pitchers: Lander University - Joe Mackey; Cameron Tekker(6); Andrew Reardon(9); Will Jones(9)
and John Mangum. Francis Marion Univ. - Matt Kelley; Ty Simpson(8); Cody Dix(8);
Jeremiah Freeman(9) and Matt Rubino.
Win-Cameron Tekker(1-3)  Save-Will Jones(2)  Loss-Cody Dix(1-2)  T-3:18
HR LANDER - Chris Hyatt (2); Colby Lusignan (4). HR FMU - Matt Rubino (4).
Weather: Partly Cloudy,53,Winds W @ 14
Kelley faced 2 batters in the 8th. Reardon faced 1 batter in the 9th.


Francis Marion Univ. 11, Lander University 5 (Mar 28, 2015 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Lander University...   100 030 010  -  5  5  4      (15-18, 7-13 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ. 032 201 03X  - 11 11  2      (18-10, 9-6 PBC)
Pitchers: Lander University - Kyle Boraski; Brandon White(3); JD Waite(8); Matt Thorpe(8) and
John Mangum. Francis Marion Univ. - Daniel Barfield; Jeremiah Freeman(8) and Nicholas McGee.
Win-Daniel Barfield(3-0)  Loss-Kyle Boraski(3-3)  T-3:03  A-668
HR FMU - Nicholas McGee (2).
Weather: Mostly Clear,54,Winds WNW @ 14
Boraski faced 2 batters in the 3rd.