Boyd’s RBI hit gives #9 Patriots doubleheader split

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University

FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore Tyler Boyd's third-inning RBI single backed the shutout pitching of freshman Don Sandifer and junior Patrick Mincey as ninth-ranked Francis Marion University posted a 1-0 victory over 15th-ranked North Georgia College & State University on Saturday afternoon (April 10) and gave the Patriots a split of their Peach Belt Conference doubleheader.

North Georgia senior left-hander Chris Rearick tossed a complete-game four-hitter in the opener as the Saints prevailed 4-1.

Francis Marion moves to 30-9 overall and 11-6 in the Peach Belt, while North Georgia is now 26-12 and 13-7. It is the sixth consecutive season that the Patriots have recorded 30 wins. The two squads will conclude their three-game series with a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Sandifer (5-0) remained unbeaten in his collegiate career as he allowed only five hits in 7.1 innings, while striking out three and walking no one.  He is ranked seventh nationally in fewest walks allowed per nine innings.  Mincey allowed a single to his first batter in the eighth, but then retired the final five Saints in order to earn his second save of 2010.

The Patriots won despite registering only three singles, two by Boyd.  It is the fewest hits in an FMU victory since the Patriots posted three hits in a 3-2 win at Newberry College on Feb. 5, 2008.

In the bottom of the third frame, designated hitter Jacob Wallace walked with one out.  FMU catcher Logan Bland was then hit by a pitch for the team-leading 16th time this season putting runners on first and second.  After a fielder's choice grounder left runners on first and third with two outs, Boyd dropped his run-scoring single into center field to plate the contest's only tally.

Second baseball Andre Airich was 2-for-4 to lead the Saints in the second game.  Sophomore righty Blake Hobby (5-3) was the tough-luck loser as he allowed only the three singles in a complete-game effort that saw he throw only 79 pitches.

In the opener, Rearick (7-2) struck out eight and allowed only four singles as he registered his first complete game of the 2010 season.

North Georgia scored twice in the fourth frame.  Shortstop Anders Oster, who was 2-for-4, drove in the first run with a two-out RBI single up the middle.  The second run scored one batter later on an infield throwing error.

The Saints upped the margin to 3-0 in the fifth.  FMU senior right fielder Alex Lee made a head-first diving catch in foul territory on a ball hit by Jordan Erisman, but Davy Wallach tagged and scored from third base.

FMU plated its lone run in the bottom of the fifth when Bland was hit by a pitch, moved to third on a single by Josh Smith, and scored on a ground out by Josh Biggers.  North Georgia answered with a run in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI fielder's choice grounder by catcher Daniel Petitti.

Francis Marion managed only two base runners over the final four innings and one of those was erased on a double play.  Senior left-hander Josh Edgin (6-3) had his four-game PBC winning streak snapped.  He allowed the four runs (three were earned) in 5.1 innings.

In addition to Oster, both Airich and Wallach were 2-for-4 in the first game.