Laurinburg, NC - From Francis Marion University
LAURINBURG, NC—The fifth ranked Francis Marion University baseball team had 18 of the games 29 hits to pull away for a 15-4 Southeast Region victory over host St. Andrews Presbyterian College on Wednesday afternoon at Clark Field.
The Patriots (36-10), who are ranked in the top-10 of all three national polls, remain atop the NCAA Southeast Region poll that was released earlier today (Wednesday, April 21). The Knights (10-34-1) were unable to pull off a third upset win over a top-five nationally ranked team at home this season.
FMU ripped six extra base hits including an RBI-triple by sophomore Tyler Boyd (Lamar, SC) in the first and a two-run homer by senior Barrett Kleinknecht (Florence, SC) in the third as the visitors jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead.
The first two Patriots batters scored as Francis Marion wasted no time putting a pair of runs on the scoreboard. Senior Alex Lee (Blythewood, SC) led off the game with a walk and then scored on Boyd's triple that hit off the right-center field fence. Boyd was then able to tag up and score on a sacrifice fly by Kleinknecht.
Boyd and Kleinknecht both drove in four FMU runs. Boyd added a pair of singles to go along with his triple as he finished with a team-high three hits including a two-run single in the sixth. Kleinknecht hit the only homer of the contest in the third, a two-run blast to right-center, which was his team-high 11th round-tripper of the season.
St. Andrews got on the board with four singles in the third before pulling to within five, 9-4, with three more runs in the sixth. After senior Samson Williams (Wilmington, NC) smacked his sixth double of the season, junior R.J. Blasi (Hubert, NC) and sophomores Ethan Powell (Greenville, SC) and Michael Ficarro (Pine City, NC) all had run-producing singles in the frame.
Francis Marion pulled away late with two runs in the eighth and four runs in the ninth highlighted by a two-run single off the bat of senior Josh Smith (Pageland, SC) and a two-run double by senior Bucky Wells (Surfside Beach, SC).
Eleven different Patriots tallied base knocks while senior starter Jeremiah Meiners (Silver Spring, MD.) picked up the win on the mound. Meiners (6-1) allowed four runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.
The left handed Meiners fanned seven Knights as a quartet of FMU hurlers combined for 12 strikeouts including sophomore Jarrett Hooks (Marion, SC) striking out the side in the ninth.
The Knights ripped 11 hits but did not come up with the timely hitting like Francis Marion as both teams left eight runners stranded on base. SAPC, ranked No. 16 nationally in stolen bases, used its team speed including a bases-loaded infield single by Samson Williams in the third. Junior Manny Williams (Wilmington, NC) had a team-high three singles swiping three bags in the leadoff slot.
Freshman starter Kyle Tate (Gastonia, NC) was tagged with the loss allowing eight runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3. Tate (1-7) had a team-high four K's.