Senior right fielder JD Crowe’s two-out run-scoring single ignited a five-run 11th inning as FMU outlasted 22nd-ranked Lander University for a 9-5 Peach Belt Conference win, on March 25.
The Patriots improved to 18-11 overall and 6-7 in PBC play, while Lander droped to 25-7 and 14-5.
Five Patriots recorded two hits: Crowe, senior second base Cole Morris, senior first baseman Randy Loew, senior center fielder Casey Clauss, and junior catcher Logan Koch.
Senior right-hander Brandon Cook (3-2), the fourth of four Patriot hurlers, earned the win with two innings of work. FMU starter Fernando Pinillos pitched seven strong innings, allowing only five hits and one unearned run.
FMU held a 4-2 advantage heading to the bottom of the ninth, but a solo home run by Lander shortstop Matt White and an RBI triple by catcher John Mangum knotted the contest.
In the 11th frame, Francis Marion began its outburst with two outs and no one on base. The Patriots took advantage of two Lander errors to score the five runs, four of which were unearned. After Crowe’s hit put FMU on top 5-4, Loew and Koch followed with run-scoring hits scored on the Bearcat miscues.
Cook allowed a twoout RBI double by Mangum in the last of the 11th but escaped further trouble.
Lander’s Brandon White (2-2) was tagged with the loss.
White and first baseman Colby Lusignan both had three hits for the Bearcats while Mangum finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
A two-run homer by Crowe in the first inning gave the Patriots an early lead. An RBI ground out by designated hitter Zach Paquette in the fourth upped the margin to 3-0. After Lander scored once in the fifth, Loew was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a balk to give FMU a 4-1 lead in the top of the eighth.
Lander scored once in the bottom of the eighth and then added the two runs in the ninth to force extra innings.
FMU sophomore shortstop Brooks Kennedy singled in the 11th to extend his hitting streak to 17 games.