Flynn and Hinnant lead Patriots to 11-1 season-opening win

Flynn and Hinnant lead Patriots to 11-1 season-opening win

FLORENCE, SC - Senior right-hander Evan Flynn tossed six quality innings and senior right fielder Cole Hinnant drove in three runs with three hits as Francis Marion University opened its 2019 campaign with an 11-1 victory over Southern Wesleyan University, Friday evening (Feb. 1) in the annual Pepsi Pop-Off Series at Sparrow Stadium.

FMU (1-0) will conclude the two-day event with a pair of games on Saturday, hosting Southern Wesleyan again at 1 p.m. and Claflin University at 4 p.m.  Claflin defeated SWU 13-12 in Friday's opening contest.

Francis Marion was the beneficiary of 15 walks and three hit batters, while registering the double-figure run total on only six hits.

Besides Hinnant's three hits, junior designated hitter Nick Pappas went 2-for-5 and senior catcher Alex Griffith had the other safety.

FMU turned a pair of groundball double plays in the first four frames behind Flynn (1-0), who threw six innings and allowed only three hits and the one unearned run.

The Patriots took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to a pair of hits and two walks. In his first collegiate at bat in four seasons, Pappas drilled a two-run single to right field and a third run scored when the ball got past the Warrior right fielder.  Pappas wound up on third on the play and came home on a deep sacrifice fly to center by junior second baseman Grayson Cottingham.

Southern Wesleyan got one run back in the top of the second on a two-out throwing error by the Patriots.

Pappas also singled in his second plate appearance and Cottingham was hit by a pitch to put two runners on in the last of the third frame.  Both would score on a booming two-out double off the left-center field wall by Griffith to up the margin to 6-1.

The Patriots used seven walks and a wild pitch in the fifth to increase the advantage to 11-1.  Senior left fielder Henry Davis IV drove home Cottingham with a sacrifice fly and Hinnant drove in three runs with a double off the top of the left-center field wall. 

Freshman righty Brayden Barry relieved Flynn and in his collegiate debut pitched three hitless innings with seven strikeouts to earn his first save.

Southern Wesleyan senior right-hander Josh Antwine (0-1) was tagged with the loss as he surrendered six runs (four earned) in three innings. 


Post-Game Comments from FMU head coach Art Inabinet

Francis Marion 11, Southern Wesleyan 1 (2/1/2019 at Florence, SC)
Southern Wesleyan... 010 000 000  -  1  3  2      (0-2)
Francis Marion......      402 050 00X  - 11  6  3      (1-0)
Pitchers: Southern Wesleyan - Josh Antwine; Daniel Singleton (4); Cole Standifer (5) and
Conner Ewing. Francis Marion - Evan Flynn; Brayden Barry (7) and Alex Griffith; Matt Moclair.
Win-Evan Flynn (1-0)  Save-Brayden Barry (1)  Loss-Josh Antwine (0-1)  T-2:59  A-597
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 56 degrees, winds calm