by Doug Page
FLORENCE, S.C. – A bases-loaded single from Francis Marion's Nicky Winterstein in the bottom of the 10th inning propelled the Patriots to a 6-5 win against the Barton College Bulldogs on Tuesday night in a non-conference baseball matchup.
Barton (9-16) held an early 2-0 lead in the contest and battled back to knot the score two separate times but five unearned runs from the Patriots would be too much to overcome in the end. Francis Marion (9-15) scored five of its runs between the second and third inning after BC committed three errors defensively.
Sophomore Chase Riker tallied two hits in four trips to the plate for the Bulldogs and scored a pair of runs, while eight other BC batters recorded a hit in the contest. Senior Rich Trifaro and redshirt freshman Danny Rodriguez each notched a hit to go along with one run batted in for the Bulldogs. A pair of freshman, Hunter Little and Mason Cooper both recorded an RBI for Barton. Junior Troy Maslowski tallied one RBI on the night and evened the score 5-5 in the top of the seventh inning.
CJ Mackinson went 2-for-5 at the plate for the Patriots while adding one RBI. Gage Taylor, Brody Thomasson, and Winterstein all finished with one RBI for Francis Marion, while Steven Cox tallied one hit and scored a pair of runs for the Patriots.
Barton plated a pair of runs in the top of the second inning against Patriot starter Austin Roseberry as Riker worked a one-out walk to get things going. Freshman Colby Warren would follow with an infield single to put a pair of runners on base for BC. With two outs in the frame, Trifaro delivered the first pitch that he saw through the left side to score Riker. Rodriguez upped the Barton lead to 2-0 as he followed suit with a single into left field that allowed Warren to score from second base.
Freshman left-hander Alex Hart kept the Patriots in check through the first two innings but saw FMU change the momentum of the game in the bottom of the third. The frame started with a double from Trey Chapman that would one hop off the wall in left field. A single by Cox would put runners on the corners for the Patriots and lead to Chapman scoring on an error by the Bulldogs.
Trailing 2-1, Thomasson sent a ball to right field that would be caught but deep enough to score the runner from third base. Mackinson gave FMU its first lead of the night with a single to center field as Taylor scored from third to make it 3-2. With a pair of runners on base for the Patriots, Hart escaped any further damage by getting Alex Griffith to strike-out looking.
The Bulldogs quickly knotted the score at 3-3 as Riker started the fourth inning with a double down the right-field line. Sitting in a 3-2 count, Cooper laced a single into right field to plate Riker from second. Roseberry stranded Cooper on base as he tallied back-to-back outs to get out of the frame.
A pair of errors would hurt the Bulldogs in the bottom of the inning as FMU took a 4-3 lead on a throwing error by Hart, who attempted to throw Cox out at first after laying down a bunt. The play allowed Chapman to score as the Patriots tallied another unearned run. Taylor increased the FMU lead to 5-3 with a two-out double down the right-field line. Hart would get a fly ball to right field to end the frame and leave one runner on base.
Freshman Jabe Montgomery and sophomore Landry Moore kept the Patriot offense off the scoreboard through the middle innings out of the bullpen for Barton. Montgomery tossed a clean fifth and sixth inning for BC, recording a pair of strikeouts while yielding only one hit. Moore worked three scoreless frames for the Bulldogs and saw his offense battle to tie the score in the top of the seventh inning.
BC plated a pair of runs against the FMU bullpen in the seventh as Little trimmed the deficit to 5-4 with a one-out double to right center against Evan Flynn. Two batters later, Maslowski delivered a two-out single into right center that would score Little to knot the score.
The score would hold until the bottom of the 10th inning with the bases-loaded and no out for the Francis Marion offense. Warren took-over on the mound for the Bulldogs in the frame and yielded a lead-off single to put the potential winning run on base. After a walk and a fielder's choice, Winterstein sent a 2-2 offering from Warren back up the middle to score fox and give the Patriots a 6-5 walk-off victory.
Warren (0-3) was handed with the loss for BC, while Hart took a no-decision after allowing five unearned runs off four hits through four innings of work. Hinnant (1-3) recorded his first win of the season after working a scoreless ninth and tenth inning for the Patriots. Roseberry, who picked-up a no-decision for FMU, allowed three runs on seven hits while fanning five batters and walking one through five innings of work.
The Bulldogs return home to host Kutztown University at Nixon Field in a non-conference contest on Wednesday at 2 p.m.