Patriot Baseball signs 11 newcomers for 2017-18 school year
FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University baseball head coach Art Inabinet has announced the signing of 11 newcomers for the 2017-18 school year: outfielder Henry Davis IV of Darlington, S.C., first baseman and right-handed pitcher Noah Davis of Lexington, S.C., infielder and right-handed pitcher Evan Flynn of Lancaster, S.C., corner infielder and outfielder Zach Jacobs of Moncks Corner, S.C., shortstop CJ Mackinson of Sykesville, Md., catcher Shane Magrann of Coconut Creek, Fla., right-handed pitcher Zach Mosay of Summerville, S.C., right-handed pitcher Isaac Rodgers of Rock Hill, S.C., middle infielder Tanner Smith of Elgin, Ill., second and third baseman Brody Thomasson of Jaspar, Tenn., and middle infielder Tanner Wakefield of Gainesville, Ga.
Henry Davis, 6-3 and 175 pounds, is transferring from Appalachian State University and will have two years of eligibility at FMU. He redshirted during the 2015 campaign and appeared in 23 games in 2016 with a .140 batting average and six stolen bases in seven attempts, before missing the 2017 season with an injury.
He is a product of Mayo High School for Math, Science, and Technology, but played for Darlington High School and coaches Mike Rogers, Billy Sylvestor, and Jeff McNeely. He twice earned All-Region accolades and was an All-State selection as a senior. He concluded his prep career with a .389 average, 140 stolen bases, and a school-record 17 triples.
“Henry is a very talented and athletic outfielder,” Inabinet said. “He runs well and will add Division I experience to our roster.”
Noah Davis, 6-2 and 220 pounds, is a recent graduate of Lexington High School, where he played for coach Brian Hucks. As a senior, he posted a 4-1 record with one save and a 2.01 earned run average. He fanned 32 batters in only 31.1 innings of work, while helping Lexington to a 22-9 record and an appearance in the Lower State finals. He was named his squad’s most valuable pitcher twice and finished his prep career with a 15-1 mark.
He also garnered 2017 honorable mention All-Region and 2016 honorable mention Underclass honors from Perfect Game.
“A left-handed hitter that has shown some power, Noah will challenge for playing time at first base and will have a chance to throw from the mound. He is a big strong athlete that comes from a well-respected high school program.”
Flynn, 5-10 and 176 pounds, comes to FMU after two years at USC Lancaster. This past spring, he batted .234 with eight extra-base hits, and 19 runs batted in while helping lead the Lancers to a 41-17 record and the Region X regular-season title. He made 11 appearances on the mound, registering a 3.71 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning pitched.
As a freshman, he batted .245 with a pair of homers and 14 RBIs, while also posting a 1-3 pitching mark with a 4.70 ERA.
He is a graduate of Buford High School, where he played for coaches Eric Funderburk and Rashad Cunningham. A two-time All-Region performer, he was named his region’s Player of the Year as a senior and also picked up All-State honors.
“Evan is a submarine-style pitcher who throws strikes and will be a situational righty out of our bullpen. His ball has a lot of movement. He is a versatile athlete that could also play in the infield or serve as an emergency catcher.”
Jacobs, 6-4 and 210, played the 2017 season at Lenoir-Rhyne University. He batted .339 in 48 games for the Bears with 10 doubles, five triples, three home runs, and 39 RBIs. He posted a .481 on-base percentage and did not commit an error in the field.
He spent his freshman year at Florence-Darlington Technical College, batting .324 in 53 games with 11 doubles, six homers, and 40 RBIs.
Jacobs is a product of Berkeley High School.
“Zach is enjoying a very productive summer with the Florence RedWolves. He is a very good left-handed hitter who will bat in the middle of our line-up. He also has a good eye at the plate in addition to being a home run threat and having the potential to drive in a lot of runs. He could see time at first or third base or even in the outfield.”
Mackinson, 6-2 and 190 pounds, comes to FMU after two seasons at Frederick Community College. This past spring, he hit .434 in 26 games before suffering a season-ending injury. He scored 15 runs with eight doubles, two homers, 15 RBIs, and a .505 on-base percentage.
As a freshman in 51 contests, he batted .290 with 11 doubles and 47 runs scored and 23 driven in. He also garnered Academic All-America honors in 2016.
He is a graduate of Century High School, where he played for coach Mike Marrale. He was a first-team All-County and a second-team All-Metro selection as a senior, and was a member of the MSABC West All-Star Team.
“CJ can hit for average and drive in runs. He is a middle of the order guy that hits from the right side, and his best asset is his strong arm. “
Magrann, 6-2 and 175 pounds, is a switch-hitting product from Coral Springs Charter School.
“Shane possesses a good catcher’s frame. He has a lot of potential and could become a good defensive college catcher. All he needs is experience at the collegiate level. His dad (Tom) was a major league catcher.”
Mosay, 6-3 and 195 pounds, is transferring to Francis Marion from Gardner-Webb University and will have one year of eligibility remaining. This past season, he went 6-3 in 12 starts and recorded a 5.07 ERA with 43 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 81.1 innings.
His first two seasons were spent at Spartanburg Methodist College (2-0 with a 2.51 ERA in 2015) and USC Sumter (8-1 with 4 saves and a 3.20 ERA in 2016). He was named the NJCAA Region X Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore.
He is a former All-State performer at Summerville High School, where he played for coaches Burt Bazzle, Scott Windham, John Hayes, and Alan Bridges.
“Zach has a chance to be a weekend starter and the anchor of our staff in 2018. He throws three pitches for strikes with a fastball in the mid-80s. His top assets are his location and ability to change speeds. He is a fierce competitor and will be looked at to log a lot of innings this spring. We had previously recruited him out of USC Sumter.”
Rodgers, 6-3 and 185 pounds, played the last two seasons at Erskine College where he posted combined totals of a 3-0 record with one save in 22 appearances with a 4.62 ERA.
He is a graduate of Rock Hill High School, where he played for coaches Keith Cotrell and Dell Corley. A two-time All-Region selection, he earned second-team Rock Hill Herald All-Area honors as a senior after posting a 6-3 pitching mark with a 2.31 ERA and 43 strikeouts and after batting .373 with 18 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.
“We will look for Isaac to likely throw on the weekends and eat up innings. He has a fastball in the mid-80s and a three-pitch mix. He has good location and is a seasoned veteran with nearly 80 innings logged at the Division II level. That experience will help our young staff.”
Smith, 5-10 and 175 pounds, is a transfer from Elgin Community College, where he spent two years. As a sophomore, he earned first-team All-Conference honors after batting .360 with 42 runs scored, 11 doubles, two homers, 30 RBIs, and a .423 on-base percentage. He helped lead the Spartans to a 30-23 record and the Region IV District B Division III championship.
He hit .246 as a freshman while registering 19 runs scored and 14 driven in.
A product of Burlington Central High School where he played for coaches Kyle Nelson and Matt Mueller, he was named to multiple post-season teams as a senior.
“Tanner could also bat in the middle of the line-up for us this coming spring. He had a good year at the plate in 2017 and has produced a high fielding percentage at the shortstop position. He has good fielding range, moves well, and possibly his biggest asset is his foot speed.”
Thomasson, 6-2 and 185 pounds, comes to the Patriots after playing one season each at Chattanooga State Community College (2017) and Motlow State Community College (2016). As a sophomore, he batted .376 with 50 runs scored in 50 games and 16 doubles, two homers, 26 RBIs, and a .462 on-base percentage. During his freshman campaign for the Bucks, he hit .264 in 30 contests with 15 runs scored, six doubles, and 10 RBIs.
He is a graduate of Lakeside High School, where he was a two-time All-State performer on both the baseball diamond and the football field.
“Another middle of the line-up type hitter, he will produce lots of extra-base hits. Coming off a very productive season at Chattanooga State, we are excited to have him joining our program, and will look forward to him bringing experience and a knowledge of the game to our squad.”
Wakefield, 5-9 and 170 pounds, is a product of King’s Ridge Christian School, where he played for coaches Dallas McPherson, Joe Torres, and Billy Henley. This past spring, he earned honorable mention 6A All-Region recognition and helped lead the Tigers to a 21-12 mark and an appearance in the third round of the GHSA state playoffs. He ended his prep career with a .283 batting average and finished third on the school’s career fielding assists list.
A three-year starter, he helped the Tigers to the 2015 state title while batting .300. He also picked up both honorable mention Southeast Region accolades in 2017 from Perfect Game.
“Tanner is a very good defensive player. Coming from a quality high school program, his future is bright and filled with lots of potential.”
Inabinet added, “Overall, we have tried to address every position on the field through our 2017 recruiting. We wanted to get better and more athletic and feel as though we have accomplished that goal. I am excited to get the fall season underway with all these new faces, and look forward to developing chemistry between the newcomers and the returnees and then focusing on preparing for the season opener on Feb. 2, 2018.”
Francis Marion finished its 2017 season with a 29-19 mark.
The 11 newcomers will join four high school seniors and one junior college transfer that signed with the Patriots during the early signing period: 6-1 infielder Steven Cox of Kingstree, S.C., 5-11 outfielder Peyton Creech of Zebulon, N.C., 6-1 right-handed pitcher John-Riley Hathcock of Harrisburg, N.C., 5-10 left-handed pitcher Antonio Reneo of Fayetteville, N.C., and 6-3 right-handed pitcher Nick Roser of Mount Holly, N.C.