Late rally sends Patriots to 9-6 loss

Late rally sends Patriots to 9-6 loss

FLORENCE, SC – Lander University senior right fielder Carson Jones launched a go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the eighth, and Francis Marion University left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth as the Bearcats claimed a 9-6 victory, Saturday afternoon (March 23) in Peach Belt Conference baseball action.

The Patriots (18-11, 9-8) and Bearcats (11-18, 7-7) conclude their three-game weekend series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. on Cormell Field at Sparrow Stadium.

Junior left-handed starter Josh Bobrowski dealt seven strong innings for the Patriots, allowing four runs, three of which were earned, while striking out a career-high 13. The 13 strikeouts are the most by a Francis Marion hurler in a single outing this season.

Senior right fielder Cole Hinnant and senior catcher Alex Griffith had two hits apiece and each scored twice for FMU. Hinnant leads Francis Marion with 13 multi-hit games.

Junior third baseman Colton Yeager paced the Lander attack with three hits. Senior second baseman Bailey Connell and Jones each added a pair of knocks.

With Francis Marion leading 5-4 in the top of the eighth, Lander had two runners on with two outs for Jones. The senior belted a three-run homer to left-center field to give the Bearcats their first lead of the afternoon. The visitors tacked on two more in the ninth to extend the margin to 9-5.

FMU began to rally with two outs in the ninth. After a double by Hinnant, a Lander error brought the Patriots to within three. A single and a walk loaded the bases and put the tying runs on base for Francis Marion, but Bearcats' senior righty Ryan Troutman ended the game with a strikeout to lock down his first save of the season.

The Patriots jumped out of the chute quickly, as freshman left fielder Will Hardee and Hinnant hit back-to-back home runs to start the bottom of the first. It was the first time in program history Francis Marion began a game with consecutive home runs. Hardee's long ball was his first career collegiate blast, and also extended his hitting streak to 13 in a row, the longest streak by a Patriot in 2019. Hinnant is tied with Griffith for the team lead in home runs with four.

RBI singles by Griffith and junior second baseman Grayson Cottingham completed the four-run Patriot first frame.

Lander pulled three back in the third, highlighted by a pair of solo homers. The Bearcats tied the contest at 4-4 with a fifth-inning tally.

Francis Marion regained the lead in the sixth as Griffith led off with a single, and eventually raced home on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.

Junior right-hander Patrick Orlando (0-1) was saddled with the loss for FMU, while junior southpaw Ryan Flores (1-1) earned the win in relief for Lander.

 

Post-game comments from FMU head coach Art Inabinet

 

Lander 9, Francis Marion 6 (Mar 23, 2019 at Florence, SC)
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Lander..............      003 010 032  -  9 11  3      (11-18, 7-7 PBC)
Francis Marion......    400 001 001  -  6  9  2      (18-11, 9-8 PBC)
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Pitchers: Lander - Davis Cunningham; Robbie Hoyt (6); Ryan Flores (7); Ryan Troutman (8) and
Zack Moore. Francis Marion - Josh Bobrowski; Patrick Orlando (8); Christian Umphlett (9) and
Alex Griffith.
Win-Ryan Flores (1-1)  Save-Ryan Troutman (1)  Loss-Patrick Orlando (0-1)  T-3:00  A-826
HR LU - Zack Moore (1); Carson Jones (4); Josh Gregory (3).
HR FMU - Will Hardee (1); Cole Hinnant (4).
Weather: Sunny, 62 degrees, winds N at
Orlando faced 1 batter in the 9th.