Grand slams power Saints' rally past FMU

Grand slams power Saints' rally past FMU

FLORENCE, SC – Limestone College used a pair of grand slam home runs to rally from an eight-run deficit and defeat Francis Marion University 16-12, Saturday afternoon (Mar. 3) in non-conference collegiate baseball action.

Francis Marion (8-11) and Limestone (9-8) will play the rubber game of the series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. on Cormell Field at Sparrow Stadium.

FMU junior second baseman Brody Thomasson went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and scored twice, while senior catcher William Robbins accounted for three hits, two runs and two runs batted in. Senior first baseman Trey Chapman had two base knocks with three RBIs and junior shortstop CJ Mackinson added two hits and drove in two runs.

The Patriots put eight runs on the board in the first two innings with an RBI-single by Robbins and a two-run single by Chapman in the first.

In the second frame, junior third baseman Alex Griffith doubled to right center plating two. After a pitching change that brought in sophomore righty Garrett Sutton, Mackinson brought in Griffith and Thomasson with a double making the score 7-0. The next batter, Chapman grounded out but added another run to give the Patriots an 8-0 advantage.

After four no-hit innings, junior right-handed starter Isaac Rodgers ran into trouble in the fifth as the Saints put a 10-spot in the frame, highlighted by a grand slam by senior right fielder Matt Orth. One batter later, junior third baseman Chase Allen knocked a 386-foot homer to left field. Limestone loaded the bases again in the inning, and senior center fielder Brandon Etheridge forced in a run with a walk before sophomore second baseman Trace Whetsell added another run with a hit into right center putting the Saints on top 10-8.

Limestone added six more runs in the top of the sixth as senior designated hitter Brennan Strovink had a sacrifice fly, followed by a bases loaded walk to Whetsell, and then the second grand slam of the afternoon for the Saints came off the bat of junior first baseman Zach Piazza. That long ball pushed the Saints' lead to 16-8.

Griffith got a three-run seventh inning underway with an RBI-double to left center. Junior left fielder Gage Taylor had an RBI-groundout and sophomore pinch hitter Nicky Winterstein reached on a fielding error that scored senior designated hitter Tee DuBose.

Robbins doubled in the bottom of the eighth plating Thomasson to conclude the contest's scoring at 16-12.

FMU junior righty Cole Hinnant (0-3) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on three hits. Rodgers pitched 4.1 innings allowing six runs on four hits and striking out seven batters. Freshman right-hander John-Riley Hathcock pitched three strong innings in relief for FMU, giving up just one hit and no runs.

For the Saints, Sutton (1-1) picked up the victory as he pitched 5.2 innings allowing four runs on eight hits. The starting pitcher for Limestone, junior southpaw Alex Grooms, had to leave the game in the first inning with an injury.


Limestone College 16, Francis Marion Univ. 12 (Mar 03, 2018 at Florence, SC)
Limestone College... 000 0(10)6 000  - 16 12  2      (9-8)
Francis Marion Univ. 350 00   0 310  - 12 15  1      (8-11)
Pitchers: Limestone College - Alex Grooms; Michael Sholtis(1); Garrett Sutton(2);
Jonathon Ivey(8); Matt Orth(9) and Ryan Williams; Kyle Strovink. Francis Marion Univ. -
Isaac Rodgers; Cole Hinnant(5); Will Taks(5); Adam Hornstra(5); John-Riley Hathcock(7) and
William Robbins.
Win-Garrett Sutton (1-1)  Loss-Cole Hinnant (0-3)  T-3:36  A-491
HR LC - Zach Piazza; Matt Orth; Chase Allen.
Weather: Sunny, 56, winds: SE @ 19 mph
Hinnant faced 5 batters in the 5th.