The Francis Marion University baseball team concludes its Peach Belt Conference home slate this weekend (April 12-14) with a three-game series against Columbus State University on Cormell Field at Sparrow Stadium.
The series will begin with a 6 p.m. first pitch on Friday, and continues with afternoon contests at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Sunday will be Senior Day, with the Patriots honoring their 10 seniors on the field prior to the game.
Daily admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students, and FMU students are admitted free. All three games will also be broadcast live courtesy of the Patriot Sports Network.
The Patriots (22-16, 13-11) and Cougars (28-13, 9-9) enter the weekend occupying the sixth and seventh positions, respectively, in the tightly packed PBC standings. Francis Marion is just a half-game behind USC Aiken for fifth place, and one game back of Young Harris College and Georgia College who are tied for third. The top eight teams in the conference standings will qualify for next month's PBC Tournament in St. Augustine, Fla.
FMU owns the second-highest scoring offense in the PBC, averaging 8.1 runs per contest, led by the outfield trio of freshman Will Hardee (.340) and seniors Cole Hinnant (.325) and Gage Taylor (.338). Hinnant and Taylor both rank in the Top-7 in the conference for hits, doubles, and runs scored, while Taylor's 41 RBIs are second-most in the Peach Belt. Taylor also enters the weekend riding a nine-game hitting streak and 13-game on-base streak, which are the longest current runs by any Patriot.
Francis Marion will send senior right-hander Evan Flynn (4-1, 5.24 earned run average) to the hill in Friday's series opener. The Patriots will turn to junior southpaw Josh Bobrowski (4-4, 4.33 ERA) on Saturday, and hand the ball to senior righty Isaac Rodgers (6-1, 3.88 ERA) for Sunday's finale.
The Cougars boast the second-lowest team earned run average in the conference at 4.22. CSU has two pitchers in the Top-7 in ERA, in sophomore righty Devin Dudal (2.45) and junior left-hander Jalen Latta (3.45). Dudal leads the Peach Belt with nine saves.
Columbus State owns a 43-33 lead in the all-time series against Francis Marion on the baseball diamond.
In addition to Hinnant, Taylor, Flynn, and Rodgers, the other Patriots dressing for their final home series will be outfielder Henry Davis IV, catcher Alex Griffith, shortstop CJ Mackinson, right-handed pitchers Warren Specht and Will Taks, and third baseman Fred Wadsworth.