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Gardner-Webb Edges Furman, 4-3

Taylor Johnson vs. Citadel, 2011
Taylor Johnson vs. Citadel, 2011

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- Jake Watts' two-out, RBI single in the eighth inning broke a 3-3 tie and lifted Gardner-Webb to a 4-3 victory over Furman in baseball action Tuesday evening at John Henry Moss Stadium.

The win improved Gardner-Webb to 21-13-1 on the season while Furman fell to 19-20.

With the score tied 3-3, Moss' line drive hit to right field off Furman reliever Kevin Gottlieb scored Scott Coleman from second base just ahead of the tag by Paladin catcher Paul Nitto.  Coleman had moved into scoring position with a one out single and advance to second after Furman shortstop J.B. Jenkins momentarily bobbled a potential double play ball off the bat of Brad Collins, who was retired on the play.

Gardner-Webb closer Jeff Howell worked around an error in the ninth by striking out Will Miller and inducing Alex Abrams to hit into a game ending twin killing.

Furman grabbed an 2-0 lead in the first on two-run single by Taylor Johnson.  The Paladins had runners at first and third with one out but failed to take advantage when Cameron Allmendinger struck out looking and Will Muzika fanned swinging.

Gardner-Webb answered in its first at bat with a Dusty Quattlebaum RBI double to make it 2-1.

Will Miller led off the Furman third with a home run to left field to give Furman a 3-1 advantage, and the Paladins led 3-2 until the sixth when Quattlebaum hit an offering by Paladin reliever Nate Smith over the right center field fence to tie the game at 3-3.

Furman, which collected four hits in the first inning, managed only two hits in its final eight at bats.  

Bulldog starting pitcher Erik Heilgenstadt (3-3), who entered the contest with an opponent batting average of .331, earned the victory after allowing three runs on six hits over eight innings.  He struck out seven and did not issue a walk.

The save was Howell's fourth of the campaign.

Gottlieb (0-1) was charged with the loss after working 2/3 on an inning and surrendering the game winning run on two hits.

Gardner-Webb had eight hits, including two each by Quattlebaum, Coleman, and Watts.

Furman returns to action on Friday when it opens a three-game Southern Conference series at the College of Charleston with a 6:00 p.m. game.

Pictured:  Taylor Johnson had two RBI against Gardner-Webb On Tuesday.