Lee’s 2-run single rallies Patriots past Catawba 3-2 in NCAA Tournament

Florence, SC - FLORENCE, SC – Senior Alex Lee lined a pinch-hit, two-run single in the top of the eighth inning to key top-seeded and sixth-ranked Francis Marion University to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over 25th-ranked and fifth-seeded Catawba College, Friday afternoon in an elimination game at the 2010 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Baseball Tournament.

Francis Marion (39-13) stays alive in the tournament and advances to play on Saturday at 3 p.m. against an opponent yet to be determined.  The 39 wins are the second-highest total in team history.  Catawba ends its season at 40-13.

Senior right-hander Barrett Kleinknecht (6-1) pitched into the ninth inning to extend his college career by at least one game.  He allowed only one earned run on four hits, and retired 14 consecutive batters from the fourth through the first out of the ninth inning.

An infield hit, a wild pitch, and a single to right field placed runners on first and third and one out in the Catawba ninth.  FMU head coach Art Inabinet summoned senior closer Brandon Forshee and he fanned John Neese and pinch hitter Brett Hatley to end the game.  For Forshee it was his 12th save, one shy of the Patriot single-season record.

Catawba lefty Nick Lomascolo (7-3) shutout the Patriots through seven frames.  He allowed the three runs on three hits in the eighth.

Catawba scored lone runs in the second and fourth innings.  The second-inning tally came on a 357-foot solo homer by Garrett Furr.  A three-base error by the Patriots led to an RBI single by Craige Lyerly in the fourth.

In the Patriot eighth, Kleinknecht singled home John Lewis Floyd to trim the margin to 2-1.  For the second time in two nights, pinch hitter Taylor Norfleet registered a hit, this time of the infield variety to load the bases with two outs.  Lee then came on as a pinch hitter against reliever Wil Honeycutt and stroked a 2-2 pitch up the middle to score Josh Biggers and Kleinknecht.

Both Kleinknecht and Floyd finished the game 2-for-4 to lead the Patriots.

Lyerly and Furr were both 2-for-4 to account for all four Catawba safeties.  Lyerly finished his career by reaching base safely in 88 straight games.