Patriots outslug Warriors 13-7; fall to Panthers 11-6

Patriots outslug Warriors 13-7; fall to Panthers 11-6

FLORENCE, SC – The Francis Marion University baseball squad plated 13 runs on 16 hits to knock off Southern Wesleyan University 13-7 before falling 11-6 to Claflin University on Saturday (Feb. 2) during day-two action of the Pepsi Pop-Off Series at Sparrow Stadium.

The Patriots (2-1) begin a four-game road trip on Tuesday as they visit Newberry College at 5 p.m. FMU opens Peach Belt Conference play on Saturday (Feb. 9) with a twinbill at Augusta University before returning to Sparrow Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 12, to take on Wingate University at 3 p.m.

In the victory over SWU (0-3), senior right fielder Cole Hinnant continued his hot start to the season with four hits, four runs batted in, and four runs scored. Senior center fielder Gage Taylor picked up four knocks of his own, scored twice, and plated two runs.

Junior Tanner Glass and senior third baseman Julio Justo each collected three hits and drove in a combined five runs for the Warriors. Glass (0-1) also started on the mound for SWU, and was tagged with the loss after surrendering seven earned runs over 2.2 innings.

Francis Marion grabbed the lead in the bottom of the first, with the first three batters collecting hits. Senior infielder Patrick Jackson led off with a single, scored on a Hinnant double, and Hinnant came around on an RBI-single by Taylor.

Southern Wesleyan briefly took a one-run advantage with three tallies in the third, but FMU responded with six, all with two outs, in the home half to regain control. Junior designated hitter Nick Pappas tied the game, plating Hinnant with a single, and Taylor raced home on a wild pitch to put the Patriots back on top 4-3. Senior catcher Alex Griffith drew a bases-loaded free pass to bring home Pappas, and freshman Will Hardee then capped the frame with a three-run double.

An RBI two-bagger by Taylor and run-scoring single by junior first baseman Leniel Gonzalez stretched FMU's advantage to 10-3 after four frames.

Southern Wesleyan crawled its way back into the contest with two runs apiece in the fifth and sixth frames. With Francis Marion leading 10-7 in the top of the seventh, junior righty Patrick Orlando picked up a strikeout to snuff out a Warriors' threat. In his first appearance as a Patriot following his transfer from Division I Coastal Carolina University, Orlando tossed the final 2.1 frames, and fanned four, to earn the save.

FMU tacked on three insurance tallies in the bottom of the seventh on a three-run blast by Hinnant, the Patriots' first long ball of the season. Senior right-hander Isaac Rodgers (1-0) picked up the win in relief for Francis Marion.

In game two, Taylor added three more RBIs to his total, giving him five for the day. Pappas belted three doubles and Hardee collected a pair of hits and drove in two runs.

For Claflin, senior righty Cleveland Westbrook (1-0) tossed a complete game, fanning 15, while throwing 170 pitches. At one point, Westbrook retired 10 in a row, which included a string of five consecutive strikeouts. Senior catcher Clyde Parker and junior shortstop Garardric Dobbs picked up three hits apiece. Parker drove in five for the Panthers, while Dobbs and sophomore third baseman Nicholas Johnson had two RBIs each.

The Patriots fell behind quickly, as Claflin (2-0) struck for five two-out runs in the first, capped by a grand slam by Parker.

FMU once again immediately responded to falling behind, getting four back in the home half. After an error to start the frame, the next four Patriots all picked up hits, with Taylor scoring two on a double, and Pappas adding an RBI single. One out later, Hardee brought Pappas around with a single. Taylor tied the contest at 5-5 in the second with a sacrifice fly.

Claflin went right back in front with three runs each in the third and fourth frames. Johnson put the Panthers back on top with an RBI single, and two more runs came around on run-scoring ground outs. In the fourth, Dobbs picked up a two-run single, and Parker added his fifth RBI of the game with a base hit.

Hardee got one run back for the Patriots with an RBI two-bagger in the bottom of the fifth.

Francis Marion loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, but Westbrook recovered to set down the next three in order to end the game.

FMU junior southpaw Josh Bobrowski (0-1) took the loss for the Patriots, yielding eight runs, three of which were earned, in two-plus innings of work.


Francis Marion 13, Southern Wesleyan 7 (Feb 2, 2019 at Florence, SC)
Southern Wesleyan... 003 022 000  -  7 14  1      (0-3)
Francis Marion......      206 200 30X  - 13 16  4      (2-0)
Pitchers: Southern Wesleyan - Tanner Glass; Jackson Fischer(3); Bryson Fowler(7) and
Conner Ewing. Francis Marion - Weston Rogers; Isaac Rodgers(4); Christian Umphlett(6);
Patrick Orlando(7) and Alex Griffith.
Win-Isaac Rodgers(1-0)  Save-Patrick Orlando(1)  Loss-Tanner Glass(0-1)  T-3:02  A-680
HR FMU - Cole Hinnant.
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees, wind NE

Claflin 11, Francis Marion 6 (Feb 2, 2019 at Florence, SC)
Claflin.............        503 300 000  - 11 10  3      (2-0)
Francis Marion......  410 010 000  -  6 10  3      (2-1)
Pitchers: Claflin - Cleveland Westbrook and Clyde Parker. Francis Marion - Josh Bobrowski;
Austin Moody (3); Ethan Meece (4); Noah Davis (6); Warren Specht (7); Colby Lee (9) and
Trystan Freeman; Matt Moclair.
Win-Cleveland Westbrook (1-0)  Loss-Josh Bobrowski (0-1)  T-3:12  A-617
HR CLAFBB19 - Clyde Parker.
Weather: Mostly sunny, 66 degrees
Bobrowski faced 3 batters in the 3rd.
Moody faced 2 batters in the 4th.