Patriots defeat Barton

Jessica Imbimbo, Assistant Editor

The Francis Marion University (FMU) baseball team sent Barton College back to the doghouse after the Patriots dominated the Bulldogs, 23-8.

Through a bit of sleet and snow, the non-conference matchup was an exciting one that featured a combined total of 31 runs, 32 hits, ten errors and 15 walks.

Senior third baseman Luke Tollison and senior shortstop Michael Wilson led the Patriots totaling eight hits, six RBIs and four runs collectively.  Patriot center fielder Issac Davenport also contributed to the FMU victory with two RBIs and four runs while extending his hitting streak to nine consecutive games.

FMU scored first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, one of which on an RBI triple from senior left-fielder Marquis Curry.  Curry then scored on a wild pitch from Barton starter Kerry Walker.

The Patriots scored again in their next at-bat on RBIs from both Curry and Wilson, making the score 4-0 through two innings.

In the bottom of the third, Tollison hit over the fence, 395 feet to left center, scoring both himself and senior designated hitter Dalton Gress who singled earlier in the inning.  Barton pitcher Benjamin Brann walked  two of the next four Patriot batters, setting up Davenport for his first RBI of the game, a single to center field.  Curry batted next, scoring two RBIs on a double down the right field line making the score 9-0 going into the fourth inning.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Gordon Owens, the third of six pitchers FMU would use during the match, struck out three of four Bulldog batters, keeping Barton College scoreless through four innings.

The Patriots scored 10 total runs in the bottom of the fourth, making the score 19-0 and extending their lead even further.  Senior right fielder Casey Gebhardt, junior catcher Nicholas McGee, sophomore second baseman Cole Morris, Davenport and Wilson all earned RBIs before Barton earned a single out.  Tollison registered another RBI while Curry scored on yet another wild pitch.  Senior first baseman David DeWolfe also earned an RBI that would score Wilson before Barton retired the inning on a ground out by Morris.

The score did not change again until the top of the sixth when Barton catcher Jacob Willis earned a single run homer to left field, finally putting the Bulldogs on the scoreboard.  The Bulldogs scored two more runs before the Patriot defense ended the inning making the score 19-3.

Senior outfielder Michael Keels and junior second baseman Brett Fulmer put up RBIs of their own, but a fielding error by Barton put yet another run on the board for FMU.  The scoreboard read 22-3 during the seventh inning stretch.

Barton and FMU scored just one run a piece in the eighth inning, upping the score to 23-4 with the Bulldogs coming to the plate and hoping for a big rally in their last chance to score.  Barton scrambled back to score four runs, but it was not enough to overcome the laser show put on by the Patriots.  The final score read 23-8 in FMU’s favor, improving their record to 14-15, while Barton dropped to 8-21.  The Patriots slugged out a season-high 24 hits from 12 different batters.

The men’s next three-game home stand will feature Peach Belt Conference opponent UNC Pembroke on April 11-13 starting at 6pm.