FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University baseball coach Art Inabinet has announced the signing of left-handed pitcher Brandon Harper of Cornelius, N.C., and right-hander Erik Sommerville of Charlotte to a national letters of intent during the recent early signing period. Both will attend FMU in the fall of 2006 and play for the Patriots in the spring of 2007.
Harper, 5-11 155-pounds, is a senior at Hopewell High School, where he plays under the direction of coach Jamie Billings.
As a junior, he posted a 1-1 mark with a 3.11 earned run average in 16 appearances. He fanned 32 batters in only 27 innings. This past fall as a member of the Copperheads showcase team, he struck out 39 batters in 34 innings and allowed opponents a .226 average.
Sommerville, 6-0 175-pounds, is a senior at Providence High School, where he plays for coach Danny Hignight. The Panthers went 25-5 last spring, winning the SW4A regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the third round of the North Carolina 4A playoffs.
Sommerville was named among the “Top Dozen Pitchers” at the 2005 IMPACT Senior Showcase in Spartanburg.
Pitching for the South Charlotte team in a 2005 fall league, he posted a 6-0 mark with a 0.00 ERA in 29 innings. He struck out 23 batters, while walking only five. He also batted .375 with 11 runs batted in.
“Harper is a soft-throwing lefty, who could pitch right away in 2007,” Inabinet said. “Sommerville has a submarine delivery that will make him tough for right-handers to hit. He throws three pitches for strikes, and could end up starting, pitching in middle relief, or closing for us. He will make an immediate impact.”
Francis Marion was 34-16-1 this past spring with a No. 14 national ranking, and earned its second invitation in three years to the NCAA Division II national tournament.
Inabinet has now signed four players for the 2007 season.