Patriots blow away Hurricanes to clinch spot in PBC Tournament

Patriots blow away Hurricanes to clinch spot in PBC Tournament

AMERICUS, GA – Francis Marion University scored all 12 of its runs in the fifth through eighth innings to claim a 12-4 victory at Georgia Southwestern State University on Sunday afternoon (April 21). The victory clinches a berth for the Patriots in next month's Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament, which will be played from May 10-12 in St. Augustine, Fla.

Sunday's game concludes Francis Marion's PBC regular-season schedule. The Patriots are 25-19 overall and 15-14 in conference play, which has them in seventh place in the standings heading into a break for final exams. FMU's seed for the PBC Tournament is yet to be determined.

The Patriots rapped out 16 hits for the afternoon, led by three apiece from senior center fielder Gage Taylor and junior designated hitter Leniel Gonzalez. Junior second baseman Patrick Jackson and junior first baseman Nick Pappas each added two hits and two RBIs.

Junior right fielder Jonathan Martin paced Georgia Southwestern (19-28, 12-15) with two hits and three runs batted in. Sophomore third baseman Tyler Skelton and junior designated hitter Andy Moore also chipped in two knocks apiece for the Hurricanes.

Both teams had opportunities to score in the early innings, but the contest remained scoreless until the fifth. FMU redshirt freshman third baseman Tanner Wakefield sacrificed to move a pair of runners into scoring position with two outs for Taylor, who hit a ground ball to the right side which he beat out for an RBI single. A second run came in on the play after a Georgia Southwestern error.

The lead was short-lived for Francis Marion, as the first three Hurricanes reached in the bottom of the inning to load the bases. Martin promptly unloaded the bases with a double to put GSW in front, 3-2.

FMU answered with three tallies of its own in the ensuing half-inning. With one out, two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Jackson, who drew a free pass to tie the game. The Patriots regained the lead moments later, as senior shortstop CJ Mackinson dashed home on a passed ball. Freshman left fielder Will Hardee capped the three-run frame with a sacrifice fly.

The Patriots stretched the lead out to six with a four-run seventh. Gonzalez, senior catcher Alex Griffith, and Mackinson put together three straight run-scoring hits, and one out later, Jackson capped the rally with an RBI fielder's choice to put FMU on top 9-3.

The Hurricanes pulled a run back in the bottom of the seventh, but Francis Marion responded with three more in the eighth. Pappas plated a pair with a double, and later in the frame scored the final run of the afternoon on a ground ball.

Senior right-hander Isaac Rodgers (7-1) earned the victory for FMU, giving up three runs and striking out four across five innings.

Sophomore righty Harrison Timberlake (1-3) absorbed the loss for the Hurricanes after allowing five runs, three of which were earned, in six innings.


Francis Marion 12, Ga. Southwestern 4 (Apr 21, 2019 at Americus, Ga.)
Francis Marion......    000 023 430  - 12 16  1      (25-19, 15-14 PBC)
Ga. Southwestern.... 000 030 100  -  4 10  1      (19-28, 12-15 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Isaac Rodgers; Patrick Orlando(6); Austin Moody(7) and Alex Griffith
. Ga. Southwestern - Harrison Timberlak; M. Snider (7); C. Garrett (7); J. Donalson (8); J. Brown (8);
M. Bell (9) and J. Harrell.
Win-Isaac Rodgers (7-1)  Loss-H. Timberlak (1-3)  T-3:00  A-189
M. Snider faced 3 batters in the 7th.  J. Donalson faced 3 batters in the 8th.