Pirkle and Dewald carry Bobcats to regional baseball crown

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University

FLORENCE, SC – In a tournament where scoring runs was at a premium, junior catcher Richard Pirkle homered twice, including a grand slam, to back a complete-game shutout by senior right-hander Martin Dewald as ninth-ranked and third-seeded Georgia College & State University beat sixth-ranked and top-seeded Francis Marion University 9-0, Sunday afternoon (May 16) in the championship game of the 2010 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Baseball Tournament.

The Bobcats (39-15) advance to the Division II College World Series in Cary, N.C., where they will face UC San Diego on May 22 at 5 p.m.  It will be GCSU's second appearance in the World Series.

Francis Marion, which was hosting the regional for the first time ever, ends its season at 40-14, the second-most wins in team history.

GCSU scored single runs in the second, third, and fourth innings to build a 3-0 advantage.  Pirkle then lifted a first-pitch offering from Patriot reliever Patrick Mincey over the left field fence with one out in the fifth and the bases loaded to more than double the margin to 7-0.  He added a solo homer in the seventh.

Pirkle ended the game 2-for-4 with three runs scored and five runs batted in and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Dewald (11-2) recorded his second complete-game win of the regional and was named the Most Valuable Player.  On Sunday, he allowed only six hits, struck out eight, and walked no one.

FMU senior southpaw Jeremiah Meiners (6-2) was the losing pitcher, as he allowed three runs (two earned) in 3.1 innings.

Patriot shortstop Barrett Kleinknecht, who was also named to the All-Tournament Team, was 2-for-4 with a double and catcher Logan Bland was 2-for-3.

In addition to Pirkle, GCSU center fielder Sean Harrell, left fielder Shawn Ward, and second baseman Jayson Veyna all collected two hits apiece.  Veyna, Ward, and shortstop Chandler Snell were all named to the All-Tournament Team.