Patriot Baseball announces pair of JUCO signees

Patriot Baseball announces pair of JUCO signees

Francis Marion University baseball coach Art Inabinet has announced the signing of two players from the junior college ranks to national letters of intent during the recent signing period: infielder Ryan Moore of Sumter, S.C., and right-handed pitcher Chad Wallen of Brunswick, Ga.

Moore is a freshman at Florence-Darlington Technical College, where he plays for head coach Preston McDonald. In 25 games this season, Moore is hitting .314 with 21 runs batted in and 19 runs scored, while helping the Stingers to a 33-9 record and a current 10-game winning streak.

He is a graduate of Sumter High School, where he played under the direction of coach Brooks Shumake. In 2017, he batted .439 with 15 RBIs and helped the Fighting Gamecocks to a 23-5 record and was named to the SCHSL 5A All-Region VI team.

Moore also played for the Sumter P-15's American Legion team, where he was a teammate with current Francis Marion freshman catcher Daulton Dabbs.

"Ryan is a local product from Sumter who we're looking at to play either second or third base for us," Inabinet said. "He's a really good offensive player who will have the chance to step in and play right away."

Wallen is a sophomore at Southern Union State Community College in Alabama, where he plays for coach Joe Jordan. This season, he has appeared in seven games with one start and owns a 1-1 record with a 2.65 earned run average. He has struck out 18 batters across 17.0 innings.

As a freshman, Wallen posted a 3.24 ERA in 15 appearances covering 25.0 innings of work. He fanned 19, while allowing just 18 hits.

He is a graduate of Glynn Academy High School in Brunswick, Ga., where he played for coach Greg Roberts. As a senior in 2016, Moore owned a 7-1 record with a 1.85 ERA, and he

struck out 51 batters in 56.2 innings. After the season, the righty was named the Region 3-AAAAA Pitcher of the Year.

"Chad is coming to us from a really strong junior college program," Inabinet said. "He's had really good numbers this spring, having been used mainly out of the bullpen, and that's where we plan to use him. He's going to bring a lot of experience to our bullpen next year."

The duo will enroll at FMU in the fall of 2019 and suit up for the Patriots starting in 2020. Moore will have three years of eligibility, while Wallen will have two.

Inabinet previously announced the signing of four high school seniors – shortstop/right-handed pitcher Jack Hegan of Bluffton, S.C., left-handed pitcher Noah Henderson of Dillon, S.C., outfielder Carson Jones of Fort Mill, S.C., and corner infielder/outfielder/right-handed pitcher Thomas Umphlett of Charlotte, N.C. – and junior college outfielder Mitch Long of Lebanon, Pa.

This year's Patriots (22-16, 13-11) return to Cormell Field at Sparrow Stadium on Friday (April 12), as they begin their final home Peach Belt Conference series against Columbus State University at 6 p.m.