Flynn, Hinnant carry Patriots to victory over Cougars

Flynn, Hinnant carry Patriots to victory over Cougars

FLORENCE, SC – Senior right fielder Cole Hinnant launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning and senior right-handed pitcher Evan Flynn tossed six strong innings to help Francis Marion University cruise to an 8-2 win over Columbus State University, in game one of a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader on Saturday (April 13). CSU came back to earn a wire-to-wire 4-2 win in the nightcap.

The Patriots (23-17, 14-12) and Cougars (24-14, 10-10) conclude their three-game weekend series on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Cormell Field at Sparrow Stadium. Francis Marion will honor its 10 seniors with an on-field ceremony prior to the first pitch.

Hinnant and junior second baseman Patrick Jackson each collected three hits for Francis Marion in the opener, with Hinnant reaching base in all five of his trips to the plate. Senior third baseman Fred Wadsworth drove in three runs, while Hinnant and junior first baseman Nick Pappas each plated a pair.

Juniors Grant Berry and Drew Webb had a pair of hits apiece to lead CSU in game one.

The Cougars loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first, and scored the opening run on a wild pitch. Flynn (5-1) buckled down and struck out the next two Columbus State batters to end the threat.

In the home half, freshman left fielder Will Hardee led off with a single, and Hinnant followed with a two-run blast off of the scoreboard in left field to put the Patriots on top 2-1.

FMU extended its advantage with four in the fourth. Wadsworth plated a run with a ground ball, a second run came around on a wild pitch, and Pappas drove in two with a two-out single to give the Patriots a 6-1 lead.

Columbus State pulled a run back in the top of the fifth, but Francis Marion again responded with a home run in the bottom of the frame. Wadsworth drilled a two-run shot to left, his third homer in the last four games, to up the edge to 8-2.

Flynn settled in after his rocky start, with his two strikeouts to end the first beginning a run of eight in a row set down by the senior. The righty fired six innings, allowing one earned run and striking out six. Sophomore lefty Weston Rogers and junior right-hander Austin Moody combined to keep Columbus State off the board over the final three innings.

Junior southpaw Jalen Latta (2-5) absorbed the game-one loss for CSU, giving up six runs, three of which were earned, in four innings.

Senior catcher Alex Griffith had two of Francis Marion's five hits in game two, including his sixth homer of the season.

Sophomore Robert Brooks and senior Garrett Kirkwood had two knocks apiece in game two to lead the Cougars.

Columbus State drew three straight walks to start the second contest, and opened the scoring on an RBI single by senior Frank Wager. After a bases-loaded walk to junior Dane Bullock made it 2-0, Francis Marion turned to righty Christian Umphlett, who retired the next three to escape further damage.

Senior shortstop CJ Mackinson got the Patriots on the board in the fourth, plating Pappas with a two-out single. The next batter, Wadsworth, made a bid to tie the game with a liner to the right-center field gap, but a diving catch by Kirkwood kept CSU ahead by one.

Columbus State upped its advantage to three with a pair of tallies in the sixth. In the bottom of the frame, Griffith launched the first pitch he saw from CSU lefty Sam Sowerbower (4-1) over the wall in left-center to make it 4-2.  Sowerbrower dealt seven innings for the Cougars, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out 10.

In the eighth, Columbus State turned to sophomore righty Devin Dudal, who gave up a single to start the frame, but bounced back to get a double play. The right-hander did not allow another base runner over the final two innings as he locked down his PBC-leading 10th save of the season.

FMU junior left-hander Josh Bobrowski (4-5) was tagged with the game-two loss after yielding CSU's first-inning runs.


Post-game comments from FMU head coach Art Inabinet


Francis Marion 8, Columbus St. 2 (Apr 13, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Columbus St......... 100 010 000  -  2 10  2      (23-14, 9-10 PBC)
Francis Marion...... 200 420 00X  -  8 12  2      (23-16, 14-11 PBC)
Pitchers: Columbus St. - J. Latta; J. Little (5); C. Duncan (6) and R. Brooks. Francis Marion -
Evan Flynn; Weston Rogers (7); Austin Moody (9) and Alex Griffith.
Win-Evan Flynn (5-1)  Loss-Jalen Lattav(2-5)  T-2:59  A-639
HR FMU - Cole Hinnant; Fred Wadsworth.
Weather: Overcast, 79, Wind SSW @ 6 mph
Flynn faced 2 batters in the 7th.
Columbus St. 4, Francis Marion 2 (Apr 13, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Columbus St......... 200 002 000  -  4  7  2      (24-14, 10-10 PBC)
Francis Marion...... 000 101 000  -  2  5  1      (23-17, 14-12 PBC)
Pitchers: Columbus St. - S. Sowerbrow; D. Dudal (8) and B. Delevie. Francis Marion -
Josh Bobrowski; Christian Umphlett (1); Noah Davis (6); Warren Specht (9) and Alex Griffith.
Win-S. Sowerbrow (4-1)  Save-D. Dudal (10)  Loss-Josh Bobrowski (4-5)  T-2:39
HR FMU - Alex Griffith.
Weather: Mostly cloudy,81,Humid,Winds S
Bobrowski faced 5 batters in the 1st.