FLORENCE, SC – The fifth-ranked Francis Marion University baseball team will conclude its regular season by playing host to Georgia Southwestern State University for a three-game Peach Belt Conference series this week.
The series has been altered slightly because of predicted rain on Sunday. The two squads will play a single game on Friday evening at 7 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Saturday will also be Senior Day as Francis Marion will recognize its 17 seniors between games of the twinbill.
Francis Marion is 36-10, equaling the third-highest win total in program history. The Patriots are 14-7 in PBC play and have secured the East Division’s top seed for the Peach Belt Conference Tournament, set for May 8-9 in Aiken.
Georgia Southwestern is 25-16 overall and 11-10 in the PBC. FMU leads the all-time series 8-1.
Francis Marion is well represented in the latest NCAA Division II national statistics released earlier this week. The Patriots rank seventh in sacrifice bunts (46); 11th in hit-by-pitches (74); 14th in earned run average (3.48), fewest hits allowed per nine innings (8.38), and fielding percentage (.969); 15th in won-loss percentage (.778), 24th in hits recorded (503) and fewest walks allowed per nine innings (2.94), 30th in sacrifice flies (25), 35th in double plays turned (37), 48th in runs scored (339), 49th in home runs hit (38), and 51st in doubles (88). Approximately 230 schools play Division II baseball.
In the individual stats, senior shortstop Barrett Kleinknecht ranks 62nd in doubles (16) and in total bases (108). Senior catcher Logan Bland ranks fifth in total hit-by-pitches with 19 and 10th in hit-by-pitches per game at 0.45 per contest. Sophomore outfielder Tyler Boyd ranks 25th in total sacrifice bunts (8) and 36th in sacrifice bunts per game (0.21), while junior third baseman Tyler Cappelmann is 48th in total sacrifice bunts (7). Kleinknecht (7) and junior first baseman Preston Shuey (5) rank 10th and 42nd respectively in sacrifice flies.
On the mound, freshman right-handed pitcher Don Sandifer ranks eighth in fewest walks allowed per nine innings (1.00), 39th in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (7.00), and 58th in earned run average at 2.50. Senior southpaw Josh Edgin is 61st in wins with six and senior righty Brandon Forshee is fourth in saves with 11. Senior right-hander Erik Sommerville ranks 49th in fewest hits allowed per nine innings with 7.18.
Following this weekend, the Patriot squad will break for exams before returning to practice prior to the conference tournament.