FMU drops pair at ninth-ranked North Georgia

FMU drops pair at ninth-ranked North Georgia

DAHLONEGA, GA – Francis Marion University dropped 6-2 and 9-5 decisions to ninth-ranked University of North Georgia on Saturday (March 30) in a Peach Belt Conference baseball doubleheader.

The Patriots (19-14, 10-10) and Nighthawks (23-8, 12-5) conclude their three-game weekend series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Francis Marion returns to Cormell Field at Sparrow Stadium to face Queens University of Charlotte in a non-conference contest on Tuesday (April 2) at 6 p.m.

Eight of the starting nine had at least one hit for FMU in game one, led by senior catcher Alex Griffith and redshirt freshman second baseman Tanner Wakefield, who each had two knocks. Griffith's two hits extended his hitting streak to 10 in a row, however his streak was snapped with an 0-for-2 performance in game two.

Junior catcher Bill LeRoy had a pair of hits and scored twice in game one for the Nighthawks.

UNG broke a 2-2 deadlock with a four-run eighth. A wild pitch allowed the go-ahead run to score, sophomore first baseman Jake Arnold drove in two with a double, and sophomore shortstop William Mapes brought in the finally tally with a sacrifice fly.

Francis Marion put two runners aboard in the top of the ninth, but sophomore right-hander Parker Morrison worked out of the jam for the Nighthawks to end the contest.

FMU struck first, as junior first baseman Leniel Gonzalez brought senior right fielder Cole Hinnant around to score with a first-inning ground out. North Georgia evened the score with a run in the fourth.

The Patriots regained the lead in the sixth on an RBI single by Wakefield, but the Nighthawks once again drew level with a run in the bottom of the sixth.

Junior southpaw Steven Bower (5-2) grabbed the win for UNG, allowing two runs over eight innings of work.

Francis Marion righty Christian Umphlett (3-2) incurred the loss, yielding three runs in 1.2 innings of relief.  Patriot senior righty Evan Flynn started the contest and allowed only two runs on three hits over 5.1 innings.  He fanned six batters.

Senior center fielder Gage Taylor headed the Patriots' attack in game two, collecting three hits, three RBIs, and scoring three times.

Leroy and senior right fielder Conner Corbitt had three hits apiece for North Georgia in game two. Leroy was one of three Nighthawks to drive in a pair of runs.

Francis Marion once again struck in the opening inning to take an early edge, as Taylor homered in the top of the first to make it 1-0.

North Georgia responded by scoring in each of its first seven offensive frames. The Nighthawks tied the contest in the bottom of the first, went ahead with three in the second, then added single tallies in the third, fourth, and fifth innings to open up a 7-1 advantage.

The Patriots pulled to within four in the sixth on run-scoring singles by Taylor and redshirt freshman Michael Kakos. UNG pushed across one in the home half of the sixth and another in the seventh to up the margin to 9-3.

FMU closed the gap to four again in the eighth on a Taylor RBI double and a Gonzalez run-producing single.

Right-hander Derrick Pickvet (5-1) picked up the win for North Georgia. The senior gave up five runs across 7.1 innings.

Lefty Josh Bobrowski (3-4) suffered the loss for FMU after allowing five runs, four of which were earned, across three innings of work.


#9 North Georgia 6, Francis Marion 2 (Mar 30, 2019 at Dahlonega, Ga.) (Game 1)
Francis Marion...... 100 001 000  -  2 10  1      (19-13, 10-9 PBC)
North Georgia....... 000 101 04X  -  6  4  0      (22-8, 11-5 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Evan Flynn; Christian Umphlett(6); Weston Rogers(8) and Alex Griffith.
North Georgia - Bower; Morrison(9) and LeRoy.
Win-Bower(5-2) Loss-Christian Umphlett(3-2)  T-3:02  A-212
C.Umphlett faced 3 batters in the 8th.
Bower faced 1 batter in the 9th.

#9 North Georgia 9, Francis Marion 5 (Mar 30, 2019 at Dahlonega, Ga.) (Game 2)
Francis Marion...... 100 002 020  -  5  9  1      (19-14, 10-10 PBC)
North Georgia....... 131 111 10X  -  9 11  0      (23-8, 12-5 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Josh Bobrowski; Noah Davis(4); Warren Specht(6) and Alex Griffith;
Michael Kakos. North Georgia - Pickvet; Wright(8); Morrison(8) and LeRoy.
Win-Pickvet(5-1)  Loss-Josh Bobrowski(3-4)  T-2:45  A-247
HR FMU - Gage Taylor.
HR UNG - Corbitt.
Wright faced 1 batter in the 8th.