FMU Baseball signs infielder and three pitchers

FMU Baseball signs infielder and three pitchers

Francis Marion University baseball coach Art Inabinet has announced the signing of middle infielder Grayson Cottingham of Florence, right-handed pitcher Colby Lee of Latta, and left-handed pitchers Josh Bobrowski of Lutz, Fla., and Weston Rogers of Mullins to national letters of intent during the recent signing period.

Despite battling injuries in 2018, Cottingham batted .260 with two home runs and 25 runs batted in this past spring for Florence-Darlington Tech.  He posted a .356 on-base percentage as the Stingers went 43-13.

He played his freshman season at USC Sumter and batted a team-best .371 with 41 runs scored, 13 doubles, three homers, 26 RBIs, and a .474 on-base percentage. He garnered All-Region 10 first-team honors.

Cottingham, 5-10 and 185 pounds, is a product of West Florence High School, where he played for coaches Bob Kleinknecht and Josh Brown.  He earned All-Pee Dee accolades with the Knights and also played with the Florence American Legion Post 1 squad, earning the Sportsmanship Award at the 2016 state tournament.

"Grayson will step in and play second base for us in 2019, while hitting first or second in the line-up," Inabinet said.  "He had a great freshman year at USCS, but injuries hampered his numbers this past year at Florence-Darlington Tech."

Lee, 6-1 and 180 pounds, played the past two seasons at the University of South Carolina and will have two years to play with the Patriots.  As a freshman, he posted a 2-1 mark with a 5.86 earned run average in 13 appearances (including three starts).  He did not have a decision in limited action on the mound as a sophomore.

He is a graduate of Latta High School, where he played for coach Don Cribb.  As a senior, he was named the South Carolina Class A Player of the Year and the Florence Morning News Player of the Year. This after posting a 10-1 record with a 1.02 ERA and 94 strikeouts in only 72 innings of work.  He was also named to the 2016 SC Select Team and was rated as the No.10 best high school prospect in the state by Perfect Game. 

"Colby is a hard-throwing right-hander.  He is a sinker/slider guy who can induce a lot of ground balls. He will challenge for a weekend starting spot in 2019.  Right now, he is pitching for the (Florence) RedWolves and we are hopeful he can log 30-to-40 innings and be sharp for fall practice."

Bobrowski, 6-3 and 195 pounds, is transferring from South Florida State College where he played two seasons.  This past spring, he was 3-6 with one save and a 4.04 ERA while fanning 65 batters in 75.2 innings.  As a freshman, he was 4-5 with a 4.06 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 75.1 innings.

He is a product of Gaither High School, where he played for coaches Frank Permuy and Nelson North.  During his three-year varsity prep career, he posted three wins, four saves, a 2.07 ERA, and 74 strikeouts in 71 innings.  He helped Gaither win the 2016 Florida Class 7A state championship.

"Josh was the Panthers' No.1 starter this year.  His won-loss record is a bit deceiving as his other numbers were good, and he pitched really well down the stretch.  He is big and strong, has a fastball at 85-to-87 miles per hour, and possesses a good curveball and change-up.  We are looking for him to fill one of our weekend starting positions this coming year."

Rogers, 6-1 and 160 pounds, earned NJCAA Region 10 Pitcher of the Year honors this spring after registering a 7-1 record with a 2.62 ERA with Florence-Darlington Tech.  He struck out 51 batters and walked only 15 in 55 innings for the Stingers.  He will have three years of eligibility with FMU.

He is a graduate of Lake View High School, where he played for coach Kip Herlong.  A four-year varsity letterman, he played first base and pitched for the Wild Gators and earned All-State honors twice.  He was also a member of the school's Beta Club. He posted more than 20 wins in high school and also played with Post 1 during the summer.

"Weston is a three-pitch mix guy who throws a lot of ground balls.  He has a sink on his fastball and possesses a really good change-up that he can throw in any count. Coming off an outstanding year with FDTC, he will likewise challenge for a spot in our weekend starting rotation."

"With this recruiting class we wanted to improve the number of quality starters on our pitching staff and I believe we have accomplished that," Inabinet added.  "These signees, along with our returners, should give us a high quality staff heading into 2019."

Inabinet previously announced the signing of right-handed pitchers Austin Moody of Dillon and Ethan Meece of Waynesville, N.C., and right-handed hitting catcher Daulton Dabbs of Sumter during the fall early signing period.

Francis Marion lost seven seniors off this past season's 18-28 squad.