Florence, SC – Southern Wesleyan fell to the Francis Marion Patriots on Friday afternoon in a 13-5 final.
The Warriors posted seven hits in the loss to the Patriots. John Garrett led the team with two hits. The team had five RBIs, with the designated hitter, Julio Justo, leading the team with two. Kirkland Gillespie, Conner Ewing and Ike Thalassinos all had doubles in the game. Julio Justo hit the first home run of the season for Southern Wesleyan. Five Warriors were walked during the game.
Southern Wesleyan posted five strikeouts in the loss. Josh Core started the game for the Warriors and pitched three innings while striking out two batters and allowing seven hits. Tyler Parry, Brandon Richeson and Aaron Bennett came in to pitch in relief.
Final: Francis Marion 13, Southern Wesleyan 5
Records: Southern Wesleyan (1-1) Francis Marion (0-1)
Coach Gillespie says…
"Tough loss today against a quality opponent in Francis Marion. We couldn't shut them down at the plate. We had some good at bats with some tough breaks through the game. Looking forward to getting back out tomorrow and competing."
How It Happened
The France Marion Patriots attacked first in the bottom of the first inning. Cox hit a double off the left centerfield wall to bring Taylor home to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead. However, Josh Core got the next three batters to ground or fly out to end the first inning only trailing by one. In the bottom of the second, the Patriots increased their lead to 3-0 on a double to left center that brought the runners at first and second home. Francis Marion extended their lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the third inning.
John Garrett started the top of the fourth off with a single to left center field. With Garrett on first base, Julio Justo hit a 355 foot home run over the left field wall to bring Garrett home and put the Warriors down 6-2 to Francis Marion. However, the Patriots countered with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Francis Marion put two more runs on the board before Southern Wesleyan was able to counter. Ike Thalassinos led off the inning with a double down the left field line and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Quinton Bent grounded out to short stop, but Thalassinos took off down the third base line to score and put the Warriors down 3-10.
In the top of the eighth inning, Steven Perez led off with a walk. He advanced to second when John Garrett singled to center field. Kirkland Gillespie came in to pinch run for Garrett. Jesse Getford followed with a walk to move Gillespie and Perez over. With the bases loaded, Julio Justo reached on a fielder's choice to third base that allowed moved the base runners over, but Perez was out at home. Ike Thalassinos grounded out to first base, but the ground out allowed Gillespie to come home and score.
Noah Fritz walked in the ninth inning and then moved to second when AJ Canine grounded out to second base. Steven Perez followed him with a single to right center to drive Fritz home. Southern Wesleyan fell to the Patriots in a 13-5 final.
The Warriors continue in the tournament on February 3 as they take on Lenoir-Rhyne at 11 a.m. They will then open up at home on February 7 at 4 p.m. against the Mars Hill Lions.