Falcons sweep Francis Marion

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo picked up another win over the top-ranked team in preseason polls, Francis Marion University, 7-6 in the final game of a three-game series Feb. 26.

The Falcons (8-7 overall, 2-4 in Peach Belt Conference) used three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the 7-6 lead and sophomore Edward Brandsema shut down the Patriots in the eighth and the ninth. Brandsema had a strikeout and three walks while pitching two innings of no-hit ball and picking up a save.

Junior Kameron Heiser got the start for the Falcons going 6.1 innings with four strikeouts and two walks. He allowed all six of the Patriots runs. Junior Kincaid Koehler pitched 0.2 of an inning with a strikeout and took home the win to improve to 1-1 on the season.

Senior Heath Peterson led the Falcons going 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored, a homerun and five RBI. Senior Chris Ross, a Pelham High School graduate, was 1-for-1 with a run scored, two RBI, two walks and a sacrifice fly. Sophomore Will Fulmer was 2-for-5 with a run scored.

Neither team scored in the opening two innings but Francis Marion ended the drought in the third as they plated a pair of runs off a pair of hits. Montevallo took the lead in the bottom half as Peterson hit a three-run homerun to score Dubberly and Ross.

The Patriots struck again in the fifth as they scored a pair of runs to take a 4-3 lead. Montevallo tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as junior Vincent Andrews led off the inning with a double. After a fly out moved him to third, Ross hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score the tying run.

Francis Marion took the lead again in the seventh as they scored a pair of runs off of three hits. Montevallo tied and retook the lead in the bottom half. After a lead-off fly out, Fulmer reached on an error. Andrews then walked. Dubberly drew a hit by pitch to load the bases. Ross then singled up the middle and everyone moved up a base. Peterson followed with a two-RBI single through the right side to take a 7-6 lead.

The Patriots threatened in the eighth as they loaded the bases with two outs. On the next at bat Brock McCallister sent a ball towards the hole between second and third but Dubberly made a great back-hand grab and tossed it to second just in time to beat the runner and end the inning.

Brandsema shut the Patriots down in order in the ninth to seal the first Peach Belt Conference sweep for the Falcons since last season’s sweep of North Georgia.
The Falcons took two games against Francis Marion, 16-8 and 10-5, in the first two games of the series Feb. 24.

Montevallo was led by junior Vincent Andrews, who went 5-for-9 at the plate over the two games with five runs, three homeruns, four RBI and a hit by pitch.

Sophomore Alec Stiver was 4-for-7 with a homerun, three RBI and two walks. Sophomore Will Fulmer and freshman Cody White each drove in four runs on the day. Fulmer was 3-for-9 with three runs scored, two doubles and four RBI while White was 2-for-7 with two runs scored, a double and four RBI.

Junior Austin Dubberly and senior Chris Ross, a pair of Pelham High School graduates, each drove in three runs. Dubberly was 3-for-7 with two runs scored, a walk and three RBI while Ross was 2-for-8 with a run scored, two doubles and three RBI. Senior Kirk Waligora drove in a pair of runs while going 3-for-8 at the plate with three runs scored, a walk and a hit by pitch.

Senior Heath Peterson also drove in a pair of runs as he went 4-for-9 at the plate with three runs scored and a pair of doubles.

Junior Michael Shreves started on the mound in game one for the Falcons. He went 7.0 innings with two strikeouts and a walk. He allowed 12 hits and eight runs including seven earned. He took home the win to improve to 1-1 on the season. Junior Nathan Flanagan pitched the next inning with a hit given up while sophomore Hunter Sevens pitched the final inning with a strikeout, a walk and a hit given up.

The Falcons fell behind in the very first inning but answered with two runs in the bottom half to take a 2-1 lead. The Patriots then scored five runs in the top of the second but UM responded again with nine runs in the bottom half to take an 11-6 lead. UM tacked on three in the third to go up 14-6. The Patriots cut the lead to six in the fourth as they scored a pair of runs but that would be it for FMU offensively as UM tacked on a run in the sixth and another in the seventh to win 16-8.

Sophomore Alex Guilford took the mound in game two and went 6.2 innings with seven strikeouts and a walk. He allowed just five hits and five runs including three earned. He earned the win and improved his record to 1-2 on the season. Senior Wes Rich, a Pelham High School graduate, pitched the final 2.1 innings with six strikeouts and no hits allowed.

Montevallo took the early lead in the second game as they scored a run in the very first inning. Francis Marion answered in the third with a run of its own. Montevallo blew open the game in the fourth with eight runs to take a 9-1 lead. Francis Marion scored two in the sixth and seventh to cut the lead to four. Montevallo tacked on its final run in the eighth as Rich shut down the Patriot offense.

The Falcons will return to action this Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 3 p.m. as they host the University of West Alabama.