Three Patriots earn All-Peach Belt baseball honors

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University:

FLORENCE, SC – Three Francis Marion University baseball players were recently named to the 2010 Peach Belt Conference All-Conference Team.

Named to the 16-member first-team were senior shortstop Barrett Kleinknecht and freshman right-handed pitcher Don Sandifer.  Selected to the All-PBC second-team was senior right-handed relief pitcher Brandon Forshee.  Sandifer was also named the conference's Freshman of the Year.

Both Kleinknecht and Forshee earn All-Conference honors for the second year in a row.

Kleinknecht, a native of Florence, leads FMU with a .352 average and is the team-leader in runs scored (51), hits (68), doubles (17), homers (11), and runs batted in (41).  He also shares team lead in stolen bases (10-of-12). He compiled 20 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBIs games, while reaching base safely in 43 of 48 games. Nationally, he is ranked as the 80th toughest player to strike out with only 14 punchouts in 227 plate appearances.  He owns a .959 fielding percentage and batted 19 points higher (.371) in PBC play with more than a run scored per game.

Sandifer, a native of Bamberg, made an immediate impact in his first season, going 6-0 with a league-low 2.66 earned run average.  He leads the Peach Belt in fewest walks, runs, and earned runs allowed and has the best opponent batting average against at .214.  In 61 innings pitched, he allowed only 48 hits, struck out 40, and walked only eight, ranking him 20th nationally in fewest bases-on-balls issued per nine innings.  His numbers were equally impressive against PBC competition, going 4-0 with a 2.72 ERA.

Sandifer becomes the fourth Patriot to be named the Freshman of the Year in the last six seasons, joining teammate Preston Shuey, who won the award in 2008.

Forshee, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., leads Francis Marion in appearances (23), while topping the PBC saves.  He is 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA and is 11-for-13 in save opportunities, while allowing only 23 hits in 28.2 innings and a .230 opponents' batting average against.  His save total is two shy of the team single-season record.  He struck out 21 batters and walked only eight.  His 15 career saves ranks second in team history.

The trio has helped Francis Marion to a 38-11 record – equaling the second-most victories ever for a Patriot squad – a No. 5 national ranking, and the PBC's East Division top-seed entering this weekend's PBC Tournament in Aiken.