Furman Triumphs In Columbia

Furman Athletics

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Sims Griffith ripped a two-run triple in the seventh inning to break open a tie game and Furman received quality pitching performances from both Trent Alley and Grant Schuermann to beat South Carolina, 6-4, in baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Founders Park.

The win evened Furman's record at 4-4 on the season and gave the Paladins their first triumph in Columbia since 2008.  South Carolina fell to 6-3 on the campaign.

With the score tied 2-2 in the seventh, Griffith drilled a full count offering by Gamecock reliever Carmen Mlodzinksi (0-1) over the head of left-fielder Carlos Cortes for a triple to drive home Landon Kay and Bret Huebner for a 4-2 Furman lead.  Ben Anderson followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Griffith and make it 5-2.

South Carolina threatened in the seventh following a pair of two-out walks off Paladin reliever Jonathan Mouw, but his replacement, Tyler Kimbrell, got the third out on a deflection off the bat of TJ Hopkins.

The Gamecocks pulled to within a run in the eighth on a Cortes two-run home run, and after Kimbrell went 2-0 on Madison Stokes he was relieved by Grant Schuermann, who promptly struck out Stokes and retired LT Tolbert and Jacob Olson on pop ups.

Furman added an insurance run to make it 6-4 in the ninth on a Jabari Richards two-out RBI double that drove home Anderson, who was hit by a pitch with two outs and the bases empty.

In the bottom of the ninth, Schuermann worked around a one-out single to record the final two outs and his first career save.

The decisive three-run seventh made a winner of Paladin starting pitcher Trent Alley (1-0), who matched his career long outing by working six innings and allowing two runs on four hits.  The sophomore right-hander walked four and struck out three.

Schuermann allowed one hit over the final two innings and struck out two.

Richards' 3-for-5, RBI performance led Furman's nine-hit attack.  Jake Crawford had two hits and an RBI, delivering a sacrifice fly in the third inning to give the Paladins a 2-1 lead.

South  Carolina finished with six hits, getting home runs from Stokes and Cortes.

Furman opens a three-game series Friday against Central Connecticut State, a 2017 NCAA Tournament participant.  Ten of the Paladins' first 11 games this season are against teams who made the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

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