Furman Falls To The Citadel In 10 Innings, 9-7

Furman Falls To The Citadel In 10 Innings, 9-7

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Justin Mackert homered twice, including a two-run 10th inning blast that broke a 7-7 tie, to lead The Citadel to a 9-7 victory over Furman in the Southern Conference series finale Sunday afternoon at Latham Stadium.

The win allowed The Citadel (14-22, 8-13 SoCon) to avoid the three-game series sweep after Furman (19-19, 9-8 SoCon) claimed a 12-3 victory on Friday and 7-6 Saturday decision.

Mackert, who went 3-for-5 and drove in five runs in the contest, stroked a two-run single in the first to help the Bulldogs build an early 6-0 lead and hit a solo home run in the sixth before delivering his decisive two-run shot to left field in the 10th off Paladin closer Dylan Cole.

Matt Simonelli also had three hits and scored three runs for the Bulldogs, who banged out 18 hits in the contest.

Furman's J.B. Jenkins led all hitters with a season best 4-for-5 performance that included two doubles and two RBI.  Will Owens had three hits for the Paladins, as did Paul Nitto, whose solo home run in the sixth and Taylor Johnson's pinch hit round tripper in the seventh helped the Paladins erase the six-run deficit.

Furman tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the eight when Simonelli's throw from shortstop pulled Mackert off the first base bag, allowing Jenkins to score from third with two outs.

The Paladins loaded the bases in the ninth before Bulldog left fielder Brad Felder gloved a sinking line drive off Owens' bat to end the threat.

In the 10th Simonelli served a one-out single to right field off Cole, and Mackert followed with the game's deciding blow, a two-run home run that cleared the left field fence.

T.J. Clarkson came on in the bottom of the 10th to record the save, his second of the season, by striking out Furman's Alex Abrams with a runner on base.

Jeremy Long (3-2), who got the final out of the eighth and worked the ninth, picked up the win after allowing two hits over 1 1/3 innings.

Cole (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season after entering the game with one out in the seventh.  The Paladin sophomore threw a career high 3 1/3 innings and surrendered five hits and two runs while walking one and striking out four.

Furman starting pitcher Tyler Wood was chased after The Citadel tagged the freshman right-hander for five runs on nine hits over the first 2 2/3 innings.

Mackert's two-run single in the first inning gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead, and William Ladd made it 3-0 with an RBI single, part of a five-hit first inning for The Citadel.

The Bulldogs made it 5-0 in the third and stretched it to 6-0 an inning later on a sacrifice fly by Ladd that scored Simonelli.

Furman started its comeback in the bottom of the fourth, cutting it to 6-3 with a Will Muzika RBI single and two-run double by Jenkins off Bulldog starting pitcher Justin Russell.

The Paladins trailed 7-5 when Taylor Johnson led off the seventh by depositing an offering by reliever Logan Cribb onto the hill overlooking left field to make it 7-6.

Jenkins led off the Furman eighth with a double to left center field and scored the game tying run on a two-out error.

Sunday's contest wrapped up a season long 11-game home stand for Furman, which will return to action on Tuesday at Gardner-Webb in a 6:00 p.m. game.

Pictured:  J.B. Jenkins doubled twice as part of a 4-for-5 performance in Sunday's game against The Citadel.