FLORENCE, SC (February 8, 2023) – The Claflin Panthers (0-1) kicked off the 2023 season with a hard-fought road loss to the Francis Marion Patriots (2-2), Tuesday afternoon. Playing their first game under the guidance if head coach Scott Nestor, the Panthers played a terrific game, but came up just short in the loss.
The game was evenly matched between the two teams. The Panthers totaled five hits in the game. For Claflin players recorded hits with senior catcher DeShawnte Carraway leading the way. He went one-four at the plate with a run scored. Senior designated hitter Eric Sledge, senior third base Da’Avion Sumpter, and senior outfielder Rufus Hurdle, Jr. each added hits of their own.
The Panthers played some tough defense throughout the game. After holding the Patriots scoreless for the first four innings of the game, the Panthers allowed a two-run fifth inning triple that was followed by an RBI single to fall behind, 3-0. In the eighth inning, the only Claflin throwing error of the game allowed another Francis Marion score to leave the Panthers trailing, 4-0. In the ninth inning, the Panthers scored on an RBI single from Sledge. Unfortunately, a Claflin runner was called out at home plate on the same play to end the game.
Five Claflin pitchers took the mound in the game. Senior Kyle Hawkins got the start and threw two innings with a strikeout. Fellow senior Trevonte Green (0-1) was credited with the pitching loss, going two innings.
The loss places the Panthers at 0-1 to start the season. The team will hit the road for their next action as they will play a weekend series at Edward Waters College. For more information on Panthers baseball, contact the Claflin University Office of Athletics Media Relations at (803) 535-5548 or log on to www.athletics.claflin.edu.