#14 Patriots outlast Bearcats twice 10-9 and 11-7

Greenwood, SC - From Francis Marion University

GREENWOOD, SC – Sophomore outfielder Tyler Boyd registered four hits, scored four times, and drove in five runs, while 14th-ranked Francis Marion University survived a seven-run Lander University ninth-inning rally in the first game and the Patriots came from behind in game two to sweep Saturday's (April 3) Peach Belt Conference doubleheader.  FMU won 10-9 in the opener and 11-7 in game two.

The Patriots (28-8, 10-5) scored 30 runs in sweeping the three-game series, while Lander falls to 19-14 and 4-11. FMU is now tied for the lead in the PBC's East Division.

Francis Marion built a 10-2 lead in game one behind two hits and five RBIs from Boyd and two hits and three RBIs from designated hitter Chris Honeycutt.  However, Lander rallied with seven in the bottom of the ninth and left the bases loaded when FMU closer Brandon Forshee struck out Brooks Reames to end the game.

FMU freshman righty Don Sandifer (4-0) remained unbeaten in his young career, allowing only two runs on three hits in seven innings.  He struck out six and walked only one.  It was Forshee's 10th save of the season, three shy of the Patriot single-season record.

Junior third baseman Tyler Cappelmann and senior outfielder Josh Smith also had two hits for FMU in game one.

Darren Tew (4-5) took the loss for Lander.

In the second game, Bud Lanier hit a grand slam to help Lander build a 7-4 lead before Francis Marion stormed back to tie on Trent Knight's three-run homer in the seventh inning.  FMU then scored three times in the eighth and once in the ninth.

Senior Barrett Kleinknecht, who moved from shortstop to the mound in the seventh inning, got the win for the Patriots with three shutout innings to improve to 3-0 on the season. Casey Pippin (1-1) took the loss for the Bearcats.

In the second game, Knight, Boyd, Kleinknecht, and Smith all rapped out two hits, with Boyd scoring three times and Smith driving in two runs.

The Patriots took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of game two when Cappelmann drew a leadoff walk and later scored on Kleinknecht's sacrifice fly. Francis Marion added two runs in the second when Smith hit an RBI single and Josh Biggers drove in a run with a ground out, making it 3-0.

Lander knocked out Patriots' starting pitcher Jeremiah Meiners with six runs in the second.

FMU pulled within 6-4 in the top of the third when Boyd singled, moved to third on Kleinknecht's single, and scored on Preston Shuey's sacrifice fly to center.

The Bearcats added to their lead with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth, but Francis Marion tied the game at 7-7 in the top of the seventh off reliever Brandon Farquhar on Knight's three-run homer over the fence in dead center near the 400-foot mark.

The Patriots took the lead for good in the top of the eighth when Biggers walked, Cappelmann singled, and both runners scored when Boyd bunted and reached on a three-base throwing error. Boyd would score on a wild pitch to up the lead to 10-7.  Smith singled home a run in the top of the ninth to account for the final run.

Interestingly, there were 15 hit batters in the twinbill.