Patriots battle Pacers in Peach Belt Conference

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Photo by: Austin Kemmerlin

After the game against USC Aiken, the Patriot baseball team's record stands at 9-7 overall.

Lillian Miller, Sports Editor

In the first of a three game stand, the 17th-ranked USC Aiken Pacers claimed a 12-3 victory over Francis Marion University (FMU) Saturday, Feb. 22 in each squad’s first Peach Belt Conference match-up of the season.

The beginning of the game was slow for both the Pacers and the Patriots, with neither side scoring any runs in the first inning.

The Pacers livened up after the first inning scoring runs in all but two innings that followed. The Patriots were not as lucky, only scoring runs in the bottom of the seventh.

USCA showed their determination to win in the top of the eighth when junior first baseman, Ty Barkell, blasted a three-run homer to break open a close game. The score up to that point had been 3-5, Pacers led, and then Barkell added another four runs to the Pacers lead.

This loss dropped FMU to a record of 7-3 overall, while the Pacers improve to 8-2.

FMU struggled for six innings to get a run and their effort was rewarded when junior second baseman, Brett Fulmer plated Cole Morris with an RBI single. Three batters later, pinch hitter David DeWolfe delivered a two-run single to cut the deficit to 3-5.

This was short lived when the Pacers answered back with four runs in the top of the eighth.

Morris and senior right fielder Michael Keels both picked up a pair of hits to lead FMU at the plate.  Senior center fielder Isaac Davenport was on base twice, including a fifth-inning single that extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

Patriot senior shortstop Michael Wilson was 0-for-4 and saw his hitting streak end at 14 games.

The Patriots would go on to play the Pacers in a double header on Sunday Feb. 23, but would see similar results. The first game was 8-10 and the second was 2-6.

Since then, Patriot baseball lost to non-conference opponent Wingate 4-13, and went 2-1 in a weekend conference series against Georgia Southwestern losing 4-10 on Saturday and winning 5-2 and 5-4 in the twinbill on Sunday.  FMU’s record stands at 9-7 overall.

Francis Marion’s next home game will be against Georgia College on Saturday, March 15.  The double header will begin at 1 p.m.