Koch's clutch knock gives FMU 3-2 win over #13 USCA

Koch's clutch knock gives FMU 3-2 win over #13 USCA

FLORENCE, SC – Junior catcher Logan Koch delivered a two-out three-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning as Francis Marion University rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat 13th-ranked USC Aiken 3-2, Friday evening (March 11) in Peach Belt Conference baseball action.

The Patriots improve to 15-6 overall and 3-4 in the PBC and will host the Pacers for game two of the series on Saturday afternoon (March 12).  First pitch at Sparrow Stadium is set for 3 p.m. The two long-time rivals will round out the weekend with a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m.

USCA drops to 16-4 and 9-4 with the tough-luck loss. Pacers senior southpaw Erik Davis was left with a no-decision after tossing 7.1 innings. His only blemish on the night was allowing two unearned runs on seven hits. Junior righty James Lynch was handed the loss after allowing the go-ahead run to reach in the eighth inning. He faced three batters, walking one and surrendering one hit.

FMU Senior right-hander Fernando Pinillos wouldn't factor into the final decision after firing 5.1 innings and allowing two earned runs on five hits. He struck-out a season-high eight batters, while walking only two. Junior righty Chance DuCharme (2-0) was credited with the win as he took over for Pinillos with one out in the top of the sixth inning.

FMU sophomore shortstop Brooks Kennedy extended his hitting streak to nine games with his 2-for-4 effort at the plate. Senior left fielder Casey Clauss went 2-for-4 at the dish with one run scored and Koch finished 2-for- 3 with the three RBIs. The Patriots improved their record to 13-1 when out-hitting opponents this season.

Francis Marion senior JD Crowe saw his 52-game on-base streak come to an end Friday night. He was robbed of a potential hit on a nice diving play from USCA junior center fielder Mitchell Price.

The Pacers would strike first in the top of the fourth inning against Pinillos. Junior third baseman Jonathan Banks doubled to deep left-center field, scoring a pair of runs to make it 2-0. Pinillos would get out of the inning without any further harm, striking out the following batter to end the frame.

The Patriots, donning their rally caps, used a crucial one-out error by the Pacers to start the come-back in the eighth inning. With a runners on first and second, USCA would turn to their bullpen and bring in Lynch. He would retire the first batter, but later issue a walk to FMU senior center fielder Shuler Ward, loading the bases.

Koch, who started the game batting right-handed flipped over to the opposite side of the plate to face Lynch. He would come through for the Patriots with a three-RBI double that narrowly missed dropping into the glove of the diving right fielder, giving his team a 3-2 advantage.

The ninth inning would see the Pacers get the potential tying and go-ahead runners on base against Patriot pitching. Junior righty John McGinty took over on the mound for fellow junior Jacob Shumate with runners on first and second, and no outs. McGinty worked around a sacrifice bunt to strand the runners on second and third base with back-to-back swinging strikeouts, earning his second save of the season.


Francis Marion Univ. 3, #13 USC Aiken 2 (Mar 11, 2016 at Florence, SC)
USC Aiken...........       000 200 000  -  2  7  1      (16-5, 9-4)
Francis Marion Univ.    000 000 03X  -  3  8  0      (15-6, 3-4)
Pitchers: USC Aiken - Erik Davis; James Lynch(8); Nick Jobst(8) and Max Schoen.
Francis Marion Univ. - Fernando Pinillos; Chance DuCharme(6); Jacob Shumate(9); John McGinty(9)
and Logan Koch.
Win-Chance DuCharme(2-0)  Save-John McGinty(2)  Loss-James Lynch(2-1)  T-3:18  A-600
Weather: Sunny 80 Degrees Wind W 5 mph
Shumate faced 2 batters in the 9th.