FLORENCE, SC – Senior catcher Jared Barkdoll drove in a pair of runs with a sacrifice fly and a single and four Francis Marion University pitchers combined to strikeout 16 Coker College batters as the 33rd-ranked Patriots edged their local rivals 4-2, Sunday evening (Feb. 8) on the final day of the South Atlantic (baseball) Challenge.
Francis Marion improves to 3-2, while Coker drops to 3-3. FMU will play host to Barton College on Thursday at 3 p.m.
In Sunday’s other games, Limestone College beat Augusta State University 10-7 in 11 innings and Lander University defeated St. Andrews Presbyterian College 9-6.
FMU scored single runs in each of the first three innings, thanks to Barkdoll’s two RBIs and a solo home run by senior third baseman Keon Graves, his second long ball in three contests. Graves also collected a seventh-inning single to finish the game 2-for-4.
Coker trimmed the margin to 3-2 in the sixth inning as Karl Ankersen scored on a wild pitch and Brian Luchsinger drove in BK Harfst with an RBI single through the right side.
Patriot reliever Brandon Forshee struck out Ellis Logeman with the bases loaded to end the Cobra threat.
FMU added an insurance run in the bottom of the frame when Colby Green’s infield single scored Austin Smetana.
Junior left-hander Jeremiah Meiners (1-0) struck out nine in five innings to earn his first win as a Patriot. Forshee pitched 2.2 scoreless innings while fanning five, before junior right-hander Josh Biggers earned his first save with a scoreless ninth, including two strikeouts.
Coker starter Josh Daniels (0-1) allowed the three runs in three innings and was tagged with the loss. The Cobra bats were held to only five hits, while Francis Marion managed only six safeties.