FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University baseball coach Art Inabinet has announced the signing of outfielder Trent Knight of Cheraw and infielder Taylor Norfleet of West End, N.C., to national letters of intent to attend FMU this fall and play for the Patriots in 2006.
Knight, 6-0 and 163 pounds, is a graduate of Cheraw High School, where he played under the direction of coach David Byrd. He is currently a member of the Post 23 American Legion squad.
As a senior at Cheraw, he batted .347 with 19 runs scored, a team-leading eight doubles, two triples, one home run, 21 runs batted in, and a .475 on-base percentage. He helped lead the Braves to a 16-8 record and a spot in the AA state playoffs.
He is a two-time All-Region selection and has been selected to play in the upcoming North-South All-Star Game in Conway.
He was a member of Cheraw’s 2004 AA state championship team, and also played on the 2004 national championship Junior Myrtle Beach Pelicans AAU squad.
Norfleet, 6-0 and 195 pounds, is a product of Pinecrest High School, where he played for coach Jeff Hewitt.
This past year, the left-handed hitting Norfleet hit .487 with one home run as the Patriots compiled an 18-7 record. His numbers included a .514 average with two strikes and a .514 average with runners in scoring position. He earned All-Mid Southeastern Conference honors for the second consecutive year.
A preseason hand injury may have robbed him of some of his power, which was evidenced by his 2004 totals of eight home runs, 40 RBIs, and a .429 average. Pinecrest was 18-8 in 2004, a mark that included the school’s first state playoff win in 19 seasons.
“These two signees will continue to add to our roster of quality individuals,” said Inabinet. “Trent is an outfielder with a good arm. He is an above average base runner, and he has already achieved much success at the high school and legion ball levels. Taylor will contend for playing time at the corner infield positions, and adds a left-handed stick to our lineup. He can swing the bat well, and hits for power.”
During the early signing period, Francis Marion announced the addition of catcher-infielder Jared Barkdoll of Greencastle, Pa., right-handed pitcher Mike Hlavacek of Hoffman Estates, Ill., and shortstop David Metts of St. George.
Francis Marion loses five seniors off this past season’s nationally ranked 34-16-1 squad that made its second NCAA Division II national tournament appearance in three years.