Falcons swept by Patriots in conference series
FROM STAFF REPORTS
FLORENCE, S.C. – The University of Montevallo baseball team suffered its first sweep of the season in a Peach Belt Conference series after falling on the road at Francis Marion University 10-7 in the final game of a three-game series April 14.
The Falcons, who entered the series ranked No. 14 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II poll, took a one-run lead in the top of the seventh inning before the Patriots plated four runs in the bottom half of the frame to secure the sweep. Montevallo was swept for only the second time this season, with the only previous sweep coming in a three-game series against top-ranked Delta State University in early February.
“I’m proud of our fight and resiliency today,” said Montevallo baseball coach Chandler Rose. “Our guys played their tails off. Obviously, not the outcome we wanted, but we’ll keep grinding every day and fix the things that need to be addressed.”
Freshman Thomas Bradey led the Falcons (26-15 overall, 13-11 in Peach Belt Conference) offensively in the final game of the series against Francis Marion as he finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a double. Bradey drove in a team-high four runs.
Sophomore Vinny Rodriguez went 1-for-4 at the plate and scored one run. Junior Will Fulmer went 1-for-5 at the plate and scored two runs, while senior Austin Dubberly finished 1-for-5 at the plate with a double and scored one run.
The Falcons used three relievers behind junior starter Josh Clemen, who gave up seven runs, including five earned runs, on eight hits with three strikeouts and one walk in six innings of action.
Junior Edward Brandsema (4-3) took the loss on the mound after allowing one earned run and issued one walk in 1/3 of an inning. Senior Devon Davis gave up two earned runs on one hit with one walk without recording an out.
Freshman Aron McRee allowed three hits in 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Francis Marion took a 1-0 lead in the final game of the series with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Jarrod Reed led off the inning with an infield single, the first hit allowed by Clemen in the game, before stealing second base and advancing to third base on a single to center field by Isaac Davenport. Reed came around to score on a RBI single to center field by Stephen Tarkenton, the third consecutive hit in the inning off Clemen.
The Falcons tied the game at 1-1 with a run in the top of the fifth inning. Simmons, who reached on a walk, advanced to second base after Marshall reached on a walk and moved to third base on a wild pitch before scoring on a fielder’s choice RBI by Bradey.
The Patriots took a 3-1 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame.
Casey Gebhardt led off the inning with a single before coming around to score on a RBI ground out by Reed. Cole Morris, who was hit by a pitch, scored on an error by the Falcons.
Montevallo responded with five runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 6-3 lead.
Fulmer led off with a single through the right side of the infield and moved to third base on a double down the right-field line by Dubberly before scoring on a bases-loaded walk issued to Slaid. Dubberly came around to score on a RBI single to center field by Simmons. Slaid, Simmons and Rodriguez, who was hit by a pitch in the inning, scored on a three-run double to left field by Bradey.
Francis Marion tied the game at 6-6 with three runs in the bottom half of the frame.
Michael Wilson, who reached on an infield single, and Dickerson, who singled through the right side of the infield, both came around to score on a two-run double to left-center field by Gebhardt. Gebhardt scored on a RBI single to right field by Morris later in the inning.
The Falcons took a 7-6 lead in the top of the seventh inning when Fulmer reached on an error by the Patriots and came around to score on a RBI single up the middle by Slaid.
The Patriots plated four runs in the bottom half of the frame to take a 10-7 advantage.
Davenport reached on a walk to lead off the inning before coming around to score on a RBI double to right field by Wilson. Tarkenton, who also reached on a walk, came around to score on a RBI single to center field by pinch-hitter Dalton Gress. Gress and Rhodes Dickerson, who was intentionally walked in the inning, scored on a two-run single up the middle by Morris.
The Falcons will return to action Wednesday, April 17 with a non-conference game on the road at the University of North Alabama. Montevallo has defeated the Lions twice this season, 10-5 at home Feb. 20 and 7-6 on the road March 20.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m.