Boyd led Patriots light up Knights 15-4

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University

LAURINBURG, NC - Sophomore left fielder Tyler Boyd had three hits, scored four times, and drove in four runs to lead fifth-ranked Francis Marion University to a 15-4 non-conference road win over St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Wednesday afternoon (April 21) at Clark Field.

The Patriots improve to 36-10, equaling the third-highest win total in team history. FMU, ranked in the top-10 of all three national polls, remains atop the NCAA Southeast Region poll that was released earlier Wednesday. 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 Boyd in the first and a home run by senior shortstop Barrett Kleinknecht in the third as the visitors jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead. Kleinknecht ended the day 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs.

The first two Patriots batters scored as senior Alex Lee 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 added 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 smacked his sixth double of the season, junior R.J. Blasi and sophomores Ethan Powell and Michael Ficarro all had run-producing singles.

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 and a two-run double by senior Bucky Wells.

Eleven different Patriots tallied base knocks while senior left-handed starter Jeremiah Meiners (6-1) picked up the win on the mound as he allowed four runs on nine hits over 5.2 innings. He fanned seven Knights as a quartet of FMU hurlers combined for 12 strikeouts, including sophomore Jarrott Hooks striking out the side in the ninth.

SAPC, ranked No. 16 nationally in stolen bases, used its team speed including a bases-loaded infield single by Williams in the third. Junior Manny Williams had a team-high three singles while swiping three bags from the leadoff slot.

Freshman starter Kyle Tate (1-7) was tagged with the loss as he surrendered eight runs on 10 hits over 5.2.

Francis Marion will open a three-game Peach Belt Conference series against Georgia Southwestern State University on Friday evening at 7 p.m.