Lyerly Hits in 34th Straight Game, but Baseball Falls to FMU at Regionals


AIKEN, SC -- Francis Marion overcame an early 5-0 deficit to remain unbeaten at the 2009 NCAA II Southeast Region Baseball Tournament on Friday night at Roberto Hernandez Stadium on the campus of USC Aiken with an 11-7 victory over fourth-seeded Catawba.  The seventh-ranked and second-seeded Patriots extend their winning streak to 17 games and improve to 38-13-1.  The Catawba Indians, ranked 21st, fall to 36-17 and will play USC Aiken in an elimination game on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.  FMU will face Belmont Abbey on Saturday morning in the winners bracket final. 

Down 5-3, the Patriots struck for four runs in the fifth to take the lead for good.  Catawba got a run back in its fifth on a run-scoring double by Kevin McMillan (Salisbury, NC/N. Rowan HS), but Preston Shuey added to the FMU lead in the sixth with a key two-out, three-run double as the Patriots went on top 11-6. 

Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) accounted for the lone remaining run with a solo home run in the ninth for his 20th round-tripper of the season.  After Catawba chased FMU starter David Walters in the second, Brandon Forschee limited the Indians to just one run on three hits over six and a third innings.

In the Tribe second, Cameron White (Columbia, SC/Ridge View HS) got the big inning going with a one-out, solo home run.  Zeb Link (Woodleaf, NC/W. Rowan HS) followed with a bunt single and Corey Parker (Kernersville, NC/Glenn HS) reached on an error.  Craige Lylery (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan) singled home a run with single that gave the junior a hit in a school-record 34th straight game. 

Brian Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) and Query followed with RBI singles to chase Walters.  McMillan drove home the final run of the frame with just on of the three hits off Forschee.

Alex Fairweather (Lenoir, NC/W. Caldwell HS) pitched into the fifth for Catawba, but left after a RBI double by Jared Barkdoll trimmed the lead to 5-4.  The senior allowed just three hits, but walked five. 

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