Francis Marion crushes Armstrong
Jordan, Sandifer combine to allow four hits in Patriot victory
MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. -- Spencer Jordan and Don Sandifer held Armstrong Atlantic to just four hits and Francis Marion advanced to the winner's bracket of the Southeast Regional with an 11-2 win on Thursday afternoon.
Jordan (10-4) did not allow a hit to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament champions until the fifth inning, then worked his way out of jams in the fifth and sixth innings to earn the victory.
Francis Marion (38-16) will face the winner of Thursday afternoon's Tusculum-Catawba game on Friday night.
The Patriots jumped on top early with help from the Pirate defense. With one out, Stephen Tarkenton singled and moved to third on a double by Jacob Golliday. When the Pirates tried to make a play on Golliday at second, the throw bounced away, allowing both runners to score.
In the fifth, the Patriots added a third run on a two-out single by Brock McCallister, bringing home Brian Paulhus who was hit by a pitch.
McCallister's two-out RBI was the first of six runs the Patriots plated with two outs. Francis Marion finished with 16 hits in all and seven players drove in at least one run.
The Pirates (40-14) had their chances to get back in the game. In the fifth, R. J. Dennard and Chris Zittrouer led off with singles and advanced to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Cody Powell. Armstrong Atlantic could not score either runner, however, as Jordan coaxed a grounder back to the mound then a strikeout to end the threat.
In the sixth, Francis Marion blew the game open on consecutive RBI singles by Golliday, Tyler Boyd and Paulhus.
The Pirates brought home their first run in the sixth after loading the bases without a hit to start the inning. An RBI-groundout by John Roberts closed the deficit to 6-1. Again, Jordan avoided a big inning with a strikeout and groundout.
In the eighth, Francis Marion scored four runs after the Pirates retired the first two batters. Rhodes Dickerson doubled home one run, followed by RBI hits from McCallister and Reed.
McCallister finished with three hits, while Michael Wilson, Tarkenton, Golliday and Paulhus each had two hits.
Jordan allowed just one earned run while pitching into the eighth. He struck out four. Sandifer retired all six batters he faced, striking out two.
Chandler Hall (9-3) allowed four earned runs in six innings in defeat.