FLORENCE, SC – Georgia Southwestern designated hitter Trent Dooley went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs to lead the Hurricanes past fifth-ranked Francis Marion University, 9-4, in the finale of Saturday’s (April 24) Peach Belt Conference doubleheader. Francis Marion won the first game, 9-3.
In the victory, GSW recorded 12 hits and took advantage of five walks and three Francis Marion errors. The Hurricanes chased Barrett Kleinknecht (5-1) from the mound in the fourth inning as he suffered his first loss of the season. He entered the game with a 0.91 earned run average, having allowed only one run and 13 hits over his past 29.2 frames.
GSW starter Jody Sellers (6-4) earned the win, while righty Brandon Reeder pitched 3 1/3 scoreless frames to garner his second save of the year.
Chris Lingham concluded a productive afternoon at plate with a 3-for-5 outing in Game 2 that included two runs scored and saw him come within a homer of hitting for the cycle. In addition to Dooley, Bud Long, Zack Stanton, and Beau Parker all registered two hits in the second contest. Long also drove in two runs.
Trailing 1-0, GSW scored three times in each of the third, fourth, and sixth innings.
Bucky Wells, Graham Couch, Tyler Cappelmann and Kleinknecht tallied two hits apiece for FMU (38-11, 16-8 PBC).
The 'Canes are undefeated this spring (24-0) when leading after six innings.
The win on Saturday marks the second time in the past three seasons that GSW has defeated the fifth-ranked team in the nation. The 'Canes won 9-6 on February 8, 2008, at then-No. 5 West Alabama.
In the opener of the twinbill, Francis Marion scored four runs in the fourth inning to open a 6-1 lead and went on to the 9-3 victory.
FMU took an early 2-0 advantage with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the first.
GSW trimmed the margin to 2-1 in the third on a solo homer to left by shortstop Kevin Carroll (2), but FMU scored the next five runs to put the game out of reach.
Parker and Long knocked in a run apiece in the seventh to round out the 'Canes scoring.
Lingham was the lone Hurricane with two hits in the opener as he went 2-for-4 and scored once. Right-hander Chris Carroll (3-1) suffered his first loss of 2010 as he surrendered six runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings.
Don Sandifer (6-0) allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings for FMU. Erik Sommerville finished up with two scoreless innings.
GSW and FMU will meet again on May 8 for the opening round of the PBC Tournament.
In the meantime, Southwestern (26-18, 12-12) plays at West Georgia on Tuesday at 5 p.m. to conclude the regular season.