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Nitto Lifts Furman To 9-6 Win Over Presbyterian

Paul Nitto vs. CofC, 2010 Buy Now
Paul Nitto vs. CofC, 2010

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Paul Nitto went 2-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs to lead Furman to a 9-6 victory over Presbyterian in baseball action Wednesday evening at Latham Stadium.

The win squares Furman's season record at 15-15 while Presbyterian falls to 18-12.

Nitto, a sophomore catcher from Greenville and J.L. Mann High School, delivered a two-out RBI single to cap a four-run fifth inning that gave Furman a 7-5 lead, and in the seventh doubled to right center field to drive home Will Muzika for the Paladins' final run of the game.

Will Owens also went 2-for-4 and scored two runs, and Alex Abrams had a pair of hits and an RBI in four plate appearances.  Will Miller, coming off a career-high six-RBI performance in Tuesday's win over East Tennessee State, drove in a pair of runs for the Paladins, who had tallied 10 hits in the contest.

PC, which banged out nine hits, was paced at the plate by Brad Zebedis, who went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.  Tony Micklon also homered for the Blue Hose as part of a 2-for-4 offensive display.

Furman took a 3-1 lead in the first on run scoring singles by Miller and Abrams and a PC fielding error.

The Blue Hose, who managed just one hit, a Zebedis first inning solo home run, over the first four innings against Furman starting pitcher Tyler Wood, batted around against Wood's replacement, Nate Smith, in the fifth, scoring four runs to take a 5-3 lead.  Micklon got the inning going by depositing Smith's first pitch over the left field fence, and the Blue Hose later cashed in on four, two-out singles and a hit batsmen to cap the rally.

The Paladins responded with four runs in their half of the fifth, loading the bases on singles by Owens and Aaron Thompkins, and a walk by Reese Wade before Blue Hose relief pitcher Rodney Scruggs hit Miller with his first pitch to force in the first run.  Will Muzika's sacrifice fly tied the game at 5-5. After another walk jammed the bases, Wade sprinted home on a wild pitch to give the Paladins a 6-5 lead, and Nitto followed with a solid single up the middle to plate Miller and make it 7-5.

The Paladins and Blue Hose traded runs in the sixth.  In the seventh Muzika worked a leadoff walk, stole second and third before coming home on Nitto's double off PC's Buck Mosteller.

Drake Browne worked a scoreless eighth, and Dylan Cole pitched around a single and walk in the ninth by striking out Aaron Preston to end the game and earn the save, his seventh of the season.

Smith (2-4) was the beneficiary of Furman's four-run fifth, earning the win despite allowing five runs on six hits in just two innings.  The Paladin rally also made a loser of Stewart Curry (0-1), who was charged with three runs on two hits in just 1/3 of an inning.

Blue Hose pitching yielded seven walks and a hit batsman, four of which scored.

The Paladins open a three-game home Southern Conference series against Appalachian State this Friday, with first pitch set for 7:00 p.m. at Latham Stadium.