Loew lifts Patriots to sweep of Warriors

FLORENCE, SC – Senior first baseman Randy Loew collected four hits and drove in four runs as undefeated Francis Marion University swept a non-conference doubleheader from previously unbeaten Southern Wesleyan University, 9-2 and 6-0, Friday afternoon (Feb.12) in collegiate baseball action.

The Patriots' 7-0 start is the second-best in program history, bested only by the 1997 squad that opened 8-0.  FMU will attempt to equal that mark when the Patriots and Warriors (5-2) conclude their three-game series on Saturday with a single game at noon.

FMU senior southpaw Matt Kelley (2-0) faced the minimum of 18 batters through the first six innings of his game-one start. He allowed two hits over those six frames, but both runners were picked off.  For his 7-inning stint, he allowed one unearned run and three hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.

Senior right-hander Fernando Pinillos (2-0) looked to better Kelley's effort by tossing a complete-game two-hitter in the second contest, which was scheduled for only seven innings.  He fanned five, walked no one, and faced only three batters over the minimum.

FMU hurlers have allowed only one earned run over the Patriots' last 40 innings.

In Friday's opener, senior left fielder Casey Clauss, junior catcher Logan Koch, and Lowe all delivered two hits. Senior right fielder JD Crowe clouted a three-run homer over the right field foul pole to highlight a decisive seven-run seventh inning.

Crowe also had a pair of walks in game two to extend his streak of safely reaching base to 39 games.

Francis Marion scratched across one run in the bottom of the first in game one.  Clauss singled to center with one out, moved to third on a throwing error on Crowe's infield grounder, and then came home on an RBI-double to left by Loew.  However, the Patriots stranded runners at second and third to end the frame.

FMU later stranded runners on second and third in the last of the third.  However, the Patriots were able to push across a second run in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out, run-scoring single to center by junior third baseman Tad Martin, but again FMU left runners at second and third.

After watching FMU leave the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Southern Wesleyan trimmed the deficit in half with an unearned run in the top of the seventh.  FMU answered by batting around in the last of the seventh and scoring seven times to lead 9-1.  The outburst was highlighted by a two-run single to center by Clauss and a Crowe's long ball.

A triple to right center by designated hitter Quinton Bent and an RBI grounder to shortstop by left fielder Avery Mahon accounted the Warriors' final run.  Righty J.J. Julian (1-1) took the loss for Southern Wesleyan.  Warriors' center fielder DiMarkus Sanders was 2-for-4 at the plate in game one.

Francis Marion staked Pinillos to a quick lead with five runs in the first inning of game two.  While the Patriots batted around in the first, Loew and senior center fielder Shuler Ward each delivered two-run singles through the right side and sophomore DH Zach Paquette registered a run-scoring infield hit.

Loew finished the scoring with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth frame.   Loew went 2-for-4 in the second contest, while Clauss was 2-for-3.

Southern Wesleyan starter Tyler Rio (1-1) was tagged with the game-two loss.

Francis Marion 9, Southern Wesleyan 2 (Feb 12, 2016 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Southern Wesleyan... 000 000 110  -  2  4  3      (5-1)
Francis Marion Univ.  100 100 70X  -  9  9  2      (6-0)
Pitchers: Southern Wesleyan - J.J. Julian; Hamilton Hartsell (6); Tyler Parry (8) and Conner Ewing
. Francis Marion Univ. - Matt Kelley; Daniel Barfield (8) and Logan Koch.
Win-Matt Kelley (2-0)  Loss-J.J. Julian (1-1)  T-2:24
HR FMU - JD Crowe (1).
Weather: Overcast 42 Degrees Wind 6MPH


Francis Marion 6, Southern Wesleyan 0 (Feb 12, 2016 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Southern Wesleyan... 000 000 0 -  0  2  1      (5-2)
Francis Marion Univ.  500 001 X -  6  8  1      (7-0)
Pitchers: Southern Wesleyan - Tyler Rio; Roth Mathews (6) and Conner Ewing.
Francis Marion - Fernando Pinillos and William Robbins.
Win-Fernando Pinillos (2-0)  Loss-Tyler Rio (1-1)  T-1:45  A-435
Weather: Overcast 39 Degrees Wind 6 MPH