Patriots erupt for 20 runs, 24 hits in win over Pacers

Patriots erupt for 20 runs, 24 hits in win over Pacers

FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University scored a season-high 20 runs and pounded out a season-high 24 hits to cruise past USC Aiken 20-4 on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 24) in Peach Belt Conference baseball action.

Next up for the Patriots (9-5, 6-3) is a trip to face Queens University of Charlotte on Wednesday evening (Feb. 27) at 6 p.m. Francis Marion returns to Sparrow Stadium to face Davis & Elkins College on Friday at 5 p.m.

Eight different Patriots posted multi-hit efforts, led by redshirt freshman second baseman Tanner Wakefield's five knocks and four runs scored. Junior first baseman Leniel Gonzalez added four hits and scored five times, including launching his first home run for FMU.

Senior right fielder Cole Hinnant drove in four runs to go with his three hits, while senior catcher Alex Griffith and senior left fielder Henry Davis IV each had a pair of hits to go with three RBIs.

For the contest, nine different Patriots had at least one hit, nine scored at least once, and 10 drove in at least one run.

Three Pacers (9-4, 2-1) had two hits apiece, including sophomore catcher Luke Leisenring, who also scored two of USCA's four runs.

After FMU starter Josh Bobrowski (2-2) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the second, Francis Marion broke through against USC Aiken starter Garvin Alston Jr. (1-2) in the bottom half, chasing the senior with a five-run frame. Davis staked FMU to a 2-0 lead with a two-run double, and then Hinnant, senior center fielder Gage Taylor, and junior designated hitter Nick Pappas each plated a run apiece. Davis then extended the Patriot lead to six with another run-scoring two-bagger in the third.

USC Aiken picked up its lone two runs against Bobrowski with three doubles in the span of four batters in the fourth. The junior lefty dealt six strong innings for FMU, yielding just three hits, while striking out eight.

The Patriots answered with three runs of their own in the home half of the fourth on a pinch-hit RBI single by freshman Trystan Freeman, and a two-run homer by Gonzalez. It was the first collegiate hit and RBI for Freeman, a Myrtle Beach native.

After extending the lead to 11-2 with a pair in the sixth, Francis Marion erupted for its second five-run frame in the seventh. Griffith and Hinnant each brought in two with a double, and junior third baseman Patrick Jackson picked up an RBI single.

The same trio notched an RBI apiece in the four-run eighth, with freshman left fielder Will Hardee knocking in a run as well.

Junior righties Ethan Meece and Patrick Orlando tossed the final three frames for FMU, with Orlando setting the Pacers down in order in the ninth to seal the victory.

 

Post-game comments from FMU head coach Art Inabinet and junior first baseman Leniel Gonzalez

Francis Marion 20, USC Aiken 4 (Feb 24, 2019 at Florence, SC)
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USC Aiken...........   000 200 110  -  4  8  4      (9-4, 2-1 PBC)
Francis Marion...... 051 302 54X  - 20 24  0      (9-5, 6-3 PBC)
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Pitchers: USC Aiken - Garvin Alston Jr.; Daniel Wiggins (2); Yarborough (4), Hunter Shuff (6);
Lindsey Robinson Jr. (6); Henry Cartrett (7); Blake Seigler (8) and Lu. Leisenring.
Francis Marion - Josh Bobrowski; Ethan Meece (7); Patrick Orlando (9) and Alex Griffith.
Win-Josh Bobrowski (2-2)  Loss-Garvin Alston Jr. (1-2)  T-3:25  A-692
HR FMU - Leniel Gonzalez.
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 69 degrees, win
Wiggins faced 3 batters in the 4th.
Shuff faced 4 batters in the 6th.