Patriots see clearly in 18-3 win over Clarion

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University

FLORENCE, SC - Senior left-hander Jeremiah Meiners tossed five hitless innings in relief and three Patriots recorded their first career four-hit games as ninth-ranked Francis Marion University beat Clarion University 18-3, Tuesday afternoon (March 9) in non-conference baseball action.

FMU (14-4) is scheduled to host Alderson-Broaddus College on Thursday at 1 p.m. weather permitting.  Clarion falls to 1-3.

Junior designated hitter Chris Honeycutt, making his first start of 2010, went 4-for-4  with four runs scored and four runs batted in.  His grand slam home run highlighted a 10-run Patriot sixth inning.

Junior third baseman Tyler Cappelmann was 4-for-5 with a run scored, a double, and three RBIs.  He also moved to the mound and pitched a scoreless ninth inning.  Sophomore Austin Smetana entered the game as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and went 4-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and three RBIs.  In the sixth inning alone, he hit a solo homer to lead off the frame and later ripped an RBI-double down the left field line.

FMU junior first baseman Preston Shuey was 3-for-4, while senior center fielder Graham Couch extended his hitting streak to 11 games.  The Patriots totaled a season-high 25 base hits.

Clarion took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.  Sean Zimmerman doubled home the first run and two runs later scored on a two-out infield error.   Infielder Joey Harrison led the Golden Eagles at the plate with a 2-for-3 day.

Meiners (4-0) entered the game in the second frame and retired 14 of 15 batters, including the final 11 he faced.  He struck out six batters and walked one.  Clarion righty Scott Berkes lasted only 4.1 innings and was tagged with the loss.

Trailing 3-0, Francis Marion scored twice in the second, three times in the third, and twice in the fifth to lead 7-3.  FMU then erupted for 10 runs on 10 hits in the sixth inning.

#9 Francis Marion University 18 Clarion University 3
March 9, 2010, in Florence, SC (Cormell Field)
Clarion University..    300 000    000  -  3  5  1      (1-3)
Francis Marion Univ. 023 02(10) 01X  - 18 25  1      (14-4)
Pitchers: Clarion University - Scott Berkes; Kevin Gnacinski(5); Bill Ruhland(6);
Jeremy Smith(6); Brett Whitman(7). Francis Marion Univ. - Jordan Douglas; Jeremiah Meiners(2);
Shane Gebhards(7); Jarrott Hooks(8); Tyler Cappelmann(9).
Win-Jeremiah Meiners(4-0)  Loss-Scott Berkes  T-2:42  A-101
HR FMU - Austin Smetana (1); Chris Honeycutt (1).
Douglas faced 1 batter in the 2nd.
K. Gnacinski faced 5 batters in the 6th.