Patriots ousted in PBC Tournament opener

Aiken, SC - From Francis Marion University

AIKEN, S.C. – Middle infielders Beau Parker and Kevin Carroll combined for seven hits, five runs scored, and six runs batted in to lead Georgia Southwestern State University to a 14-6 upset of fifth-ranked Francis Marion University, Saturday morning (May 8) in the opening game of the 2010 Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.

Francis Marion, which entered the game as the East Division's top seed, falls to 38-12 and must await Sunday night's announcement of the NCAA Division II National Tournament field.  FMU had won 14 of its previous 17 games, but ended the regular season with a 9-4 home loss to GSW.

The Hurricanes (28-18) were making their first-ever appearance in the PBC tournament. GSW advances to face Flagler College in Sunday's first semifinal contest at 11 a.m.

FMU senior shortstop Barrett Kleinknecht was 4-for-5 with two runs scored, a double, two homers, and four RBIs.  Junior first baseman Preston Shuey was 2-for-4, including a solo home run.

Left fielder Tyler Boyd opened the game for Francis Marion when he scored off a double by Kleinknecht to the warning track in right-center field in the bottom of the first inning.  GSW answered with three runs in the top of the second inning. Jared Allen hit a two-run homer and Chris Lingham later scored on a sacrifice fly by Bud Long.

Kleinknecht pulled the Patriots to within 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning when he homered over the right-field wall.

The Hurricanes opened a 6-2 margin in the top of the fourth inning thanks to RBI hits from Carroll and Trent Dooley and a bases-loaded walk by Allen.

FMU's Austin Smetana scored off a single to left field by Kleinknecht in the fifth and Shuey homered in the sixth inning to pull Francis Marion to within 6-4.  That would be as close as the Patriots would get as Georgia Southwestern scored eight runs over the next two frames.

The Hurricanes' eighth inning was highlighted by a 3-run triple by Parker.

Trailing 14-4, the Patriots pushed one run across in the bottom of the eighth inning when Taylor Norfleet crossed the dish as Logan Bland knocked a single through the left side. Kleinknecht accounted for the final FMU run with his 13th homer of the season in the last of the ninth.

All nine of Georgia Southwestern's starters garnered at least one hit as the Hurricanes out-hit the Patriots 22-8.

Senior hurler Ryan Lackey (4-3) recorded the win for GSW with seven innings of work.

Francis Marion utilized eight different pitchers. PBC Freshman of the Year Don Sandifer (6-1) suffered his first loss of the season as he allowed three runs on six hits in 1.2 innings.