FLORENCE, SC – Queens University of Charlotte freshman right fielder Nick Brassington scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th inning and in the bottom of the frame threw out the potential tying run at home plate to end the game as the Royals outlasted Francis Marion University 13-12, Tuesday evening (April 2) in chilly non-conference baseball action.
Francis Marion (20-15) will begin a three-game Peach Belt Conference series at UNC Pembroke on Friday at 6 p.m.
Junior first baseman Nick Pappas led the Patriots with three hits, a run scored, and two driven in. Senior third baseman Fred Wadsworth entered the game as a defensive replacement in the top of the eighth and registered a pair of hits and an RBI, while senior center fielder Gage Taylor had a hit and drove in three runs.
Brassington finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs, while freshman designated hitter Tanner Jacobson went 3-for-5 with four runs scored and three RBIs for Queens (10-23).
FMU freshman right-hander Morgan Morris (0-1), who made his collegiate debut after being elevated from the junior varsity squad earlier in the day, took the loss. He was the seventh of eight FMU pitchers. Patriot hurlers combined to fan 13 Royals batters.
Queens freshman southpaw Alec Hunter (1-1) earned the win as he pitched the final two frames.
In the 10th inning, Brassington led off with a double, a high chopper off Wadsworth's glove at third base. After a pitching change, Brassington moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the frame, Wadsworth singled with one out. After a second out, junior second baseman Brian Kahn walked and advanced Wadsworth to second base. FMU freshman left fielder Will Hardee then drilled a 1-0 pitch into right field for a single, but Brassington's throw home was in time for Royals' catcher Ryan Dudney to tag out the sliding Wadsworth.
Three hours earlier, FMU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Senior catcher Alex Griffith was hit by a pitch to open the frame, took second on a wild pitch, and went to third on a single by freshman designated hitter Michael Kakos. He then scored on a fielder's choice grounder by freshman third baseman Tanner Wakefield.
The Royals used a pair of singles, a pair of doubles, and a balk to plate three runs in the top of the third and Queens assumed a 3-1 advantage. A seeing-eye single up the middle by second baseman Dominic Ford upped the margin to 4-1 in the fourth.
An RBI double by Jacobson and run-scoring singles by Brassington and third baseman Alex Sexton expanded the Queens' lead to 7-1 in the fifth. The Royals rapped out 13 hits through the first five frames.
A two-out throwing error allowed the Patriots to score three times in the bottom of the fifth. Those tallies come home on a two-run single through the left side by Taylor and a run-scoring single to center by Pappas.
A throwing error by the Patriots in the top of the sixth led to three unearned runs as Queens reassumed its six-lead advantage at 10-4. Two fielding miscues by Queens in the last of the sixth paved the way to a pair of runs as FMU closed to within 10-6.
The margin closed to 10-9 in the seventh as single tallies scored on a single by senior shortstop CJ Mackinson, a hit batter (Kahn), and a sacrifice fly by Hardee.
Queens answered with two runs without the benefit of a hit in the top of the eight to go ahead 12-9. FMU got a run back in the bottom of the frame when Wadsworth's liner to center was misjudged and resulted in an RBI triple.
After Morris pitched a scoreless ninth, FMU still trailed 12-10 entering its last at bat. Taylor drove in the Patriots' 11th run with an infield grounder and Pappas knotted the score at 12-12 with a clutch two-out, two-ball, two-strike RBI single on a wicked high hopper over the Queens' first baseman.
Eight of FMU's twelve runs were unearned owing to five Queens' errors. The Patriot offense also took advantage of six walks and four hit batters.
Post-game comments from FMU head coach Art Inabinet
Queens (N.C.) 13, Francis Marion 12 (Apr 2, 2019 at Florence, SC)
Queens (N.C.)....... 003 133 020 1 - 13 17 5 (10-23)
Francis Marion...... 010 032 312 0 - 12 11 2 (20-15)
Pitchers: Queens (N.C.) - E. Dix; J. Bergren (4); W. Boling (5); J. Michna (7); D. Bagwell (7);
A. Hunter (9) and A. Orta; R. Dudney. Francis Marion - Weston Rogers; Noah Davis (3);
Christian Umphlett (4); Warren Specht (6); Colby Lee (7); Austin Moody (8); Morgan Morris (9);
Evan Flynn (10) and Alex Griffith.
Win-Alec Hunter (1-1) Loss-Morgan Morris (0-1) T-3:47 A-451
Weather: Overcast,47,Winds NNW @ 13 mph
Lee faced 2 batters in the 8th.