FMU earns comeback win over Georgia College

FMU earns comeback win over Georgia College

FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University rallied for a 4-3 come-from-behind victory in the first game of a Peach Belt Conference baseball doubleheader against Georgia College on Saturday (March 9). The Bobcats held off a late Patriot charge to win the night cap 6-4.

The Patriots (14-7, 7-4) and Bobcats (11-8, 5-4) conclude their three-game weekend set at Sparrow Stadium on Sunday afternoon (March 10) at 1 p.m.

Senior right fielder Cole Hinnant collected four hits for the day for Francis Marion, including three in game two to register his team-leading 12th multi-hit game of the season. Hinnant now sits atop the Peach Belt in batting average at .449 and has an eight-game hitting streak.

Freshman left fielder Will Hardee also had a four-hit day for FMU with a pair of knocks in each contest. The South Florence High School graduate also drove in three runs.

Sophomore Austin Holloway and senior Garrett Greene each picked up a pair of hits in both games to lead Georgia College's attack.

In game one, FMU rallied from a 3-0 deficit over the final four frames.

Georgia College scored once in the third and twice in the fourth off Francis Marion starter Evan Flynn. Flynn went six innings and allowed eight hits, three earned runs, and two walks, while fanning three.

The Patriots began their rally in the sixth.  Senior center fielder Gage Taylor led off with a single and went to second on a ground out.  Three straight run-scoring hits followed for Francis Marion.

Junior second baseman Grayson Cottingham plated Taylor with a double down the left field line and Hardee lined a run-scoring two-bagger to left to score Cottingham.  Senior shortstop CJ Mackinson completed the threat and knotted the score at 3-3 with an RBI single to left.

In the seventh, Hinnant doubled to the opposite field, and after a pitching change and a strikeout, he came home with the go-ahead run on a two-out single through the left side by junior first baseman Leniel Gonzalez.

The rally made a winner of FMU junior right-hander Christian Umphlett (3-1). Umphlett, Austin Moody, and Patrick Orlando combined for three scoreless frames.  They stranded Georgia College runners on third in the seventh and second in the eighth, and Orlando retired Bobcats' junior second baseman Cal Gentry, who entered the day leading the PBC in batting average, with the tying run aboard in the ninth to end the contest. Orlando picked up his third save of 2019.

Perry Keith (1-1), the second of three Georgia College hurlers, was responsible for the fourth run in the seventh and absorbed the loss.

The Bobcats once again jumped out to a 3-0 lead in game two, plating three unearned tallies in the first two innings.

Hinnant brought FMU a run closer in the third on an RBI single which plated junior designated hitter Patrick Jackson. Francis Marion then got within a run in the fourth as Hardee dashed home on a Georgia College error.

 The Bobcats restored their three-run edge with a pair in the fourth. A wild pitch brought the first tally home, and senior designated hitter Tarez Miler then made it 5-2 with an RBI single.

Hardee answered right back for the Patriots in the home half of the fourth, bringing in Taylor and Gonzalez with a two-run single up the middle. An inning-ending double play induced by Georgia College reliever Colin LoCurto (2-0) kept the Bobcats ahead by one.

Francis Marion threatened to even the score in the seventh, but left runners stranded on the corners.

Georgia College extended its lead to 6-4 in the eighth as freshman catcher Jay Saunders scored on a wild pitch. FMU loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but was turned away by freshman reliever Chris Rolick, who ended the threat with a strikeout. The Patriots brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but again Rolick worked out of trouble to earn his third save of the season.

Sophomore southpaw Weston Rogers (2-2) took the loss for FMU, allowing five runs, two of which were earned, over five innings of work. LoCurto picked up the victory for Georgia College with 1.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

 

Postgame Comments from FMU head coach Art Inabinet

 

Francis Marion 4, Georgia College 3 (Mar 9, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)

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Georgia College..... 001 200 000  -  3 11  0      (10-8, 4-4 PBC)

Francis Marion......  000 003 10X  -  4 11  0      (14-6, 7-3 PBC)

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Pitchers: Georgia College - Bradly Cammack; Perry Keith (6); Brad Spinner (7) and Austin Holloway . Francis Marion - Evan Flynn; Christian Umphlett (7); Austin Moody (8); Patrick Orlando (8) and Alex Griffith.

Win-Christian Umphlett (3-1)  Save-Patrick Orlando (3)  Loss-Perry Keith (1-1)  T-2:49  A-583

Weather: 56 degrees, overcast

Georgia College 6, Francis Marion 4 (Mar 9, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
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Georgia College..... 210 200 010  -  6  9  3      (11-8, 5-4 PBC)
Francis Marion...... 001 120 000  -  4  8  2      (14-7, 7-4 PBC)
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Pitchers: Georgia College - Kyle King; Colin LoCurto(5); Chandler Amason(7); Logan Hicks(7);
Chris Rolick(8) and Jay Saunders. Francis Marion - Weston Rogers; Linc Powell(6);
Noah Davis(6); Ethan Meece(8); Warren Specht(9) and Alex Griffith; Matt Moclair; Trystan Freeman.
Win-Colin LoCurto(2-0)  Save-Chris Rolick(3)  Loss-Weston Rogers(2-2)  T-3:25  A-0
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 58 degrees
LoCurto faced 1 batter in the 7th.