From Francis Marion University
SAVANNAH, GA - Thirteenth-ranked Francis Marion University swept a Peach Belt Conference baseball doubleheader from Armstrong Atlantic State University on Monday (March 15), taking game one in 10 innings 15-14 and then notching an 8-4 win in game two.
The wins earn the Patriots (17-5, 3-3 PBC) their first PBC series victory of the year as well as a third straight series victory over the Pirates (16-6, 1-2 PBC).
The Patriots combined for 32 hits in the doubleheader sweep, led by second baseman Josh Biggers' five-hit day and three RBIs, as well as a save in game one, while first baseman Preston Shuey had four hits and four RBIs on a pair of two-run doubles.
The Pirates took a quick 3-0 lead in game one against Francis Marion, getting a single run in the bottom of the first and then a two-run home run from Justin Wilson in the third inning off of FMU starter Jeremiah Meiners.
Francis Marion quickly struck back with a pair of five-run innings, smashing a pair of two-run home runs in the top of the third from Alex Lee and Josh Smith, and adding another two-run shot courtesy of Biggers in the top of the fourth.
AASU answered back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth - highlighted by another two-run home run by Justin Wilson - to close the score to 10-7.
The Patriots scored twice in the sixth on RBI singles from Tyler Cappelman and Biggers, building a 12-7 lead, but the Pirates scored once in the bottom of the sixth, then got a three-run home run from Chris Zittrouer in the bottom of the eighth to close within one, 12-11.
FMU added an important insurance run in the top of the ninth because the Pirates rallied for two runs off of Patriot closer Brandon Forshee (1-0) in the bottom of the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Josh Wilson and a game-tying RBI single by Alex Wyche.
Cappelman led off the top of the 10th inning by hitting the first pitch from Brandon McCreery (0-1) out down the left field line for a solo home run and FMU would add another run in the inning to take a 15-13 lead into the bottom of the 10th.
AASU again rallied, scoring a run on an RBI groundout by Justin Harris. With the tying run on third and two out, Biggers came in from second base to pitch and struck out pinch hitter Drew Carnes on three pitches to preserve the victory. Forshee was the beneficiary of the 10th-inning offense, picking up the win for FMU after pitching one inning and giving up two hits and three runs, walking two batters.
McCreery took the loss for the Pirates, giving up five hits and three runs - two earned - in 3 1/3 innings pitched, walking two and striking out three.
In the second game, FMU senior southpaw Josh Edgin (3-2) scattered nine hits and gave up four runs - three earned - in 8 2/3 innings pitched to limit the Pirate bats in an 8-4 win. Forshee came in in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run on deck and retired Wyche on a flyout to left to earn his seventh save of the season.
Jonathan Fulghum (2-1) suffered his first loss for the Pirates this season in game two, giving up eight hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched, walking one.
Wilson led the Pirates on the day with four hits and six RBIs, including a 2-for-4 game in game one with the two two-run home runs.
FMU plays at Pfeiffer University on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.