FLORENCE, S.C. – Making your first profession collegiate begin on the mound is a frightening process in and of itself. Doing it towards the defending NCAA Division II nationwide champions?
That raises the bar after which some.
None of that was on Austin Moore’s thoughts as he toed the rubber Wednesday when Francis Marion University took on second-ranked Wingate in a marquee matchup at Sparrow Stadium.
“To me it just felt like a normal game,” the previous South Florence High standout stated. “No pressure at all. Just pitch another game.”
No one would have guessed it was Moore’s first begin since highschool as he twirled six shutout innings towards the Bulldogs to assist FMU choose up one of many greatest wins in program historical past – an 8-0 victory in six innings.
The sport was known as following a lightning / climate delay that lasted greater than hour after the sport was halted within the prime of the seventh inning. Francis Marion (21-12) will return to motion Friday because it hosts Mount Olive in a three-game Conference Carolinas collection this weekend.
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Even with the early end, the Patriots have been the dominant staff from the beginning – starting with Moore (1-1). He scattered six hits, walked none and struck out six because the right-hander wanted simply 81 pitches to get by six frames.
“Austin was really good tonight,” FMU coach Art Inabinet stated. “He was able to locate his fastball down and away, threw his breaking ball for a strike and threw a changeup when he needed to to left-handed hitters.
“He was really impressive tonight and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Moore had served as a pinch-hitter or designated hitter previous to this season, however the Patriots started utilizing him out of the bullpen. He entered Wednesday with a 0-1 report and a 5.40 ERA in 13 1/3 innings, however had pitched 4 2/3 scoreless frames prior to creating his first begin.
“We had been searching for a midweek starter, and he threw I think 4 2/3 (innings) against Queens last week of shutout ball,” Inabinet stated. “And so we ran his pitch count up on purpose last week to get him ready for this start today, and he responded. I can’t say enough good things about him.”
The Patriot junior was good by 2 2/3 innings earlier than a one-out single within the third gave Wingate its first baserunner of the night. Moore pitched round slightly hassle within the fourth because the Bulldogs put two runners on, after which received out of his greatest jam within the fifth.
With two on, Moore hit Michael Dansky to load the bases and produce Inabinet out of the dugout for a chat.
“Coach came out there and kind of told me to just relax and just make the pitches,” Moore stated. “Luckily I threw the fastball and he swung and (we) got out of the inning.”
A foul popup to first base ended the menace on the following pitch, and Moore was in a position to work round a one-out double within the sixth to cap off his stellar debut.
Meanwhile, the offense gave him all of the run assist he wanted within the first inning with a four-spot. Darius Nobles, Tanner Wakefield and Johnsonville’s Lex Tuten all got here by with run-scoring hits – together with a two-run single by Tuten.
All three hits got here with two outs because the Patriots wound up scoring their first 5 runs by way of massive hits with two down.
“We got some really big two-out hits, which we haven’t been doing,” Inabinet stated. “It was a well-played game from all facets of the game – pitching, hitting and defense.”
Wakefield added one other RBI within the fourth and Tuten singled house one other run within the sixth. Will Hardee, one other former South Florence standout, drove within the last two runs of the sport moments later.
Naphis Llanos (9), Wakefield (17) and Hardee (11) noticed their hitting streaks prolonged whereas Todd Mattox reached base safely for the 76th straight sport after being hit by a pitch within the first inning. Mattox is now 12 video games shy of the DII report.
Wingate (31-4) noticed its 11-game profitable streak snapped. The Bulldogs are the highest-ranked staff FMU has ever defeated at Sparrow Stadium outdoors of the inaugural contest towards South Carolina in 2012. The Gamecocks have been ranked ninth in Division I on the time.
The Patriots final DII victory of this caliber was a 9-3 win over second-ranked Tusculum University within the 2012 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament.