FLORENCE, S.C. – Ten Francis Marion University diamond athletes were listed in the final 2004 NCAA Division II baseball and softball statistical reports.
In the baseball report, senior catcher Kenneth Yaeger (Bowling Green, Ky.) ranked as the nation’s third toughest player to strikeout, fanning only four times in 122 at bats. Senior pitchers Phil Padgett (Surfside Beach) and Erin Jones (Dillon) ranked 50th and 68th respectively on the earned run average list – Padgett at 2.73 and Jones at 2.88. Senior righty Philip Wilkins (Winnsboro) ranked 30th in saves with six.
Junior center fielder Quentin Davis (Darlington) ranked 29th and sophomore shortstop Jason Weaver (Lake City) ranked 87th on the list of sacrifice hits per game. Senior infielder Adam Dutka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was listed at No. 81 in the hit-by-pitch category, as he was plunked 10 times in 42 games.
In the team rankings, the Patriots ranked 11th in earned run average (3.49), 44th in winning percentage (.630), 58th in fielding percentage (.957), 62nd in double plays per game (0.80), 66th in triples per game (.0.28), 97th in scoring per game (6.30), 117th in batting average (.297), 126th in stolen bases per game (0.96), 141st in doubles per game (1.57), 145th in slugging percentage (.405), and 149th in home runs per game (.0.46). Approximately 205 Division II institutions sponsor baseball.
Francis Marion posted a 29-17 record this past spring, including a season-ending six-game winning streak, en route to a fifth-place finish in the Peach Belt Conference standings.
In the Division II softball reports, freshman right-hander Jessica Johnson (Palm City, Fla.) ranked 21st in saves with three. Junior center fielder Betsy Bouknight (Leesville) ranked 24th in runs scored per game (1.02) and 26th in doubles per game (0.34), while sophomore shortstop Heather Garrison (Hartsville) was 46th in the nation in runs scored per game (0.92).
In the softball team rankings, the Patriot women ranked second in Division II in doubles per game (2.00), sixth in home runs per game (0.78), sixth in slugging percentage (.491), 11th in scoring per game (6.31), 20th in batting average (.316), and 49th in stolen bases per game (1.26).
FMU ended the 2004 campaign with a 37-17 record, a fourth-place showing during the PBC regular season, and a third-place finish at the recent Peach Belt Tournament. The Patriots narrowly missed earning their first-ever bid to the NCAA Division II national tournament after winning 16 of their final 19 games. The team’s 37 wins are the third-most in the program’s history, and FMU compiled a program-best 12 conference wins.