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Francis Marion Athletics | March 9, 2014

Painter's grand slam gives No. 4 Lander split with Francis Marion

Marquis Curry

GREENWOOD, S.C. -- Francis Marion rallied from a 7-2 deficit to upset No. 4 Lander 10-7 in the first game of a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader, but the Bearcats answered with a comeback of their own to win the second game, 7-5.

Senior outfielder Dalton Gress led the Patriots (10-9, 3-6 PBC) at the plate in the first contest with three hits, two runs batted in, and a run scored. Junior outfielder Zac Lenns was 3-for-6 with a pair of RBIs, while junior catcher Nick McGee was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with a RBI.

Sophomore righty John Rossi (1-0) recorded the win on the mound, while junior right-hander Jeremy Hatfield tallied his third save of the season. Brandon White (1-1) took the loss for Lander (19-4, 9-4).

The Patriots began their comeback in the seventh when senior shortstop Michael Wilson singled home McGee, who doubled to start the inning. Senior outfielder Marquis Curry drew a walk to load the bases. Gress reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Lenns. Senior third baseman Luke Tollison cut the Bearcat lead to 7-5 on an RBI single that scored Wilson.

Francis Marion added three more runs in the eighth to take the lead, keyed by McGee's second double, a single by Isaac Davenport, a wild pitch, a throwing error on a dropped third strike and Gress' RBI single.

The Patriots then added two insurance runs in the ninth on a Cole Morris double and McGee single.

But Lander turned the tables in the second game, wiping out a 5-2 Francis Marion lead with a five-run eighth inning, highlighted by Colby Painter's grand slam.

The Patriots brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but strikeouts by Gress and Curry ended the game.