#9 Patriots edge Limestone 6-5 behind bullpen

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University

FLORENCE, SC – Three Francis Marion University relief pitchers tossed 4.1 scoreless innings allowing the ninth-ranked Patriots to rally for a 6-5 non-conference win over Limestone College, Tuesday evening (April 6) in college baseball action.

Francis Marion improves to 29-8 with the victory over the Saints (12-27), who are coached by FMU graduate and former Patriot outfielder Chico Lombardo.

FMU will host 15th-ranked North Georgia College & State University for a three-game Peach Belt Conference series this weekend, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. Limestone hosts North Greenville College on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Senior southpaw Shane Gebhards (1-0) earned the win. Junior righty Patrick Mincey threw two scoreless frames before senior Brandon Forshee pitched a scoreless ninth to register his 11th save of the year, two shy of the school record.

Trailing 5-3 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, Francis Marion rallied for three unearned runs off Limestone left-hander Kyle Matheney (0-2). Senior shortstop Barrett Kleinknecht plated the first run with a line-drive RBI double to left field. Pinch-hitter Preston Shuey tied the score at 5-5 with a sacrifice fly to center field, and senior left fielder Trent Knight pushed across the go-ahead run with an RBI-double to right center field.

Knight, senior right fielder Alex Lee, and sophomore designated hitter Tyler Boyd all collected two hits to pace the Patriot attack.

Junior third baseman David Christy was the lone Saint with two hits.

Limestone took a 2-0 lead in the second inning with the benefit of two hits that were lost in the early-evening sun by Patriot fielders. Christy had an RBI single and shortstop Michael Hughey rapped out an RBI fielder's choice grounder.

FMU answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Lee stroked an RBI double to left center and catcher Logan Bland followed with a two-run homer.

Limestone regained the lead at 5-3 on Drew Lydon's three-run homer to left field with one out in the top of the fifth frame. The Patriots again responded with the three-run rally in their half of the inning.