Francis Marion University baseball coach Art Inabinet has announced the addition of right-handed pitchers Austin Moody of Dillon, Ethan Meece of Waynesville, N.C., and Connor Bright of Snow Hill, N.C., while signing right-handed hitting catcher Daulton Dabbs of Sumter to a national letter of intent during the recent early signing period.
Moody, 6-3 and 215 pounds, will transfer from Florence-Darlington Technical College where he plays under the direction of coach Preston McDonald. He appeared in nine games on a 42-19 Stingers squad that advanced to the 2017 NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.
The Dillon High School graduate was honored by being named to the 2016 North-South All-Star Game and presented the 2016 Region Player of the Year award. He also competed in football during his high school career.
"We are excited to bring in a local player," said Inabinet. "Austin throws a great changeup off an 85-87 miles per hour fastball. He will be coming out of the bullpen for us, and has the ability to make an appearance in any situation."
Meece, 6-3 and 205 pounds, is transferring from Louisburg College where he plays for coach Blake Herring. As a freshman, he recorded a 5-3 record with a 5.73 earned run average in 16 appearances for the Hurricanes, while tallying 40 strikeouts and surrendering only two home runs in 44 innings.
He is a product of Tuscola High School.
Inabinet said, "Ethan will bring experience and an 86-88 mph fastball, while working primarily out of the bullpen for us, but may also start several weekend games."
Bright is entering his senior year at Arendell Parrott Academy, where he plays under the direction of coach Robert Kravitz. The 5-11 and 180-pound righty threw 44 innings, while recording 77 strikeouts and posting a 1.91 ERA in 2017. He finished the campaign with five wins and two saves, and added a .338 batting average at the plate with eight doubles and 21 runs scored.
Bright was named to the 2016 and 2017 All-State and All-Conference teams, while winning the 2017 most valuable player award for APA. He was also a 2017 Golden Leaf All-Academic Team selection.
Along with baseball, he competed in football, basketball, and swimming in high school.
"Connor is very athletic and a good pick up for us. He is expected to see time as a freshman at Francis Marion. He has a three-pitch repertoire with a fastball in the 86-88 mph range, although we are projecting him to get up to 90 mph," said Inabinet. "He has a lot of experience, playing for the 5 Star Carolina travel team as well as his prep school."
Dabbs is a 5-11 and 170-pound catcher that is entering his senior year at Wilson Hall Academy. Under the direction of Adam Jarecki, Dabbs batted .406 in 25 games with 28 hits, 30 runs scored, 14 runs batted in, and a .623 slugging percentage in 2017.
On the defensive side, he threw out 67 percent of attempted base stealers, while picking off three baserunners at second base and allowing only four passed balls. Dabbs was named a SCISA All-Region and North-South All-Star team member in 2017, while being honored with his school's Offensive Player of the Year award in 2017 and the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016.
He also competes for the EvoShield Canes travel squad.
"Daulton is a great student," said Inabinet. "Although we look for him to put on a little weight for the collegiate level, he swings the bat well and will compete for a starting role at FMU."
Inabinet added, "We have a small signing class this year, but these four players will fill some immediate needs for us."
This year's Patriot roster includes seven seniors. Francis Marion will open its season Feb. 2 in the Carolina Hospital System Classic against Southern Wesleyan University. The game is set to start at 2 p.m. on Cormell Field in the Griffin Athletic Complex.