FLORENCE, SC – Junior right-hander David Walters allowed only one run and three hits in seven innings and senior outfielder Shawn Summers lined a two-run homer in the second inning to lift 24th-ranked Francis Marion University to a 3-1 win over local-rival Coker College, Thursday afternoon (Feb. 7) in the opening game of the third-annual Swamp Fox Baseball Challenge.
FMU ups its record to 4-1, while Coker falls to 2-3. The Patriots now lead the all-time series 11-5. The four-day event will continue with three games at FMU on Friday: Coker vs. UNC Pembroke at noon, St. Andrews Presbyterian College vs. Lander University at 3 p.m., and Francis Marion vs. Anderson University at 6 p.m.
In winning its 2008 home opener, FMU scored a run in the bottom of the first when Justin Greene reached on a fielding error and came around to score on a double into the right centerfield gap by first baseman Preston Shuey. In the second frame, freshman Vince Farfaglia was hit by a pitch and Summers followed with his blast over the left field fence.
Coker dented the scoreboard in the top of the seventh when Scott Amann singled to shallow left field, moved to second on a wild pitch, and came home to score on two-out single through the right side by Preston Ford.
Walters (2-0) allowed just three singles and no walks in his seven innings, while striking out seven. Senior southpaw Zach Farry pitched two scoreless innings to earn his third save of 2008.
Coker starter Jesse Hatchell (0-1), a product of Florence’s Wilson High School, allowed six hits in seven innings, and one of the three runs he allowed was unearned.
Summers (2-for-4) was the lone player to have two hits in the game, as he added a single in the eighth inning. FMU turned a pair of double plays, including a 1-6-3 twinkilling in the ninth inning after pinch hitter Will Poole led off the frame with a hard single up the middle.