GREENSBORO, N.C. – Daniel Stallsmith pitched a career best 8 2/3 innings and Will Miller went 5-for-5 and scored four runs to help Furman race past UNC Greensboro, 11-6, in the second game of an important Southern Conference baseball series Saturday afternoon at UNCG Stadium.
With the victory, its fifth straight in league play, Furman (18-35, 10-19 SoCon) moved percentage points ahead of Wofford into eighth place for the final qualifying seed for the this year's Southern Conference Tournament, scheduled for May 26-29 at Charleston's Riley Park.
The Terriers (9-18 SoCon) were scheduled to entertain Appalachian State Friday evening in the opening game of a three-game SoCon series in Spartanburg. Furman holds the advantage in a tiebreaker with Wofford by virtue of the Paladins three-game sweep of the Terriers last weekend in Greenville.
Stallsmith (5-2), a sophomore left-hander who began the year as a reliever before moving into the weekend rotation in early April, won for the third time in eight days and, in the process, exceeded his previous long outing by 2 1/3 innings. The Huntersville, N.C., product tamed the Spartans (20-32, 7-22 SoCon) over the first eight innings, allowing only two hits and a pair of runs while retiring 17 consecutive batters during one stretch before being lifted with two outs in the ninth and the Paladins ahead 11-6. Jay Friedman was called on to record the game's final out.
Miller's five-hit performance included a double and two triples, and the Atlanta, Ga., sophomore also stole two bases and drove in a run.
In addition, Brian Harrison homered for the second straight game and for the fourth time in the last five contests, and also scored three runs.
The game was tied 2-2 after three innings before Furman turned up the heat offensively by scoring in five consecutive frames to take control.
Rob Fondu's RBI single in the fourth gave Furman a 3-2 lead, and Harrison led off the fifth with his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot to left field, to make it 4-2. Cole later drove home Miller with a two-out single to right field to stretch the advantage to 5-2.
The Paladins continued their offensive display with a run in the sixth, two in the seventh, and three in the eighth, which included Miller's second triple of the contest down the left field line that plated Will Muzika.
Furman led 11-2 in the ninth before Stallsmith tired and allowed three home runs before being lifted with two outs. Friedman promptly came in and induced a pop fly to end the Spartans' afternoon.
J.B. Jenkins fashioned a 2-for-5, 2-RBI outing that also featured a home run, and Will Owens had two hits in five at bats for the Paladins, who banged out 17 total hits.
Warren Slack (3-10) took the loss for UNCG after allowing six runs on 11 hits while also walking four.
In matching last season's SoCon win total, Furman will go for the series sweep tomorrow in a 2:00 p.m. game.