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Furman Downs Presbyterian, 7-5, In Tuesday Baseball Action

Taylor Johnson vs. Cincinnati, 2011
Taylor Johnson vs. Cincinnati, 2011

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Taylor Johnson's two-run seventh inning double broke open a close ball game and helped Furman defeat Presbyterian, 7-5, in baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Latham Stadium.

The win evened Furman's record at 2-2 on the year while the loss dropped PC to 0-4 on the young campaign.

With the Paladins ahead 4-3 with two outs and the bases empty in the seventh, Paul Nitto and Alex Abrams drew back-to-back walks from Blue Hose reliever Buck Mosteller, and Johnson followed with a line drive, two-run double into the left center field gap to stretch the lead to 6-3.  Freshman Jarrod Rickman then greeted Mosteller's replacement, Chad Sanders, with a solid single through the left side to drive home Johnson to make it 7-3.

The Blue Hose answered with a run in the eighth to cut Furman's advantage to 7-4, and Cam McRae's pinch-hit solo home run off Abrams in the ninth made it 7-5.  Abrams, however, rallied in his collegiate pitching debut to retire Andrew Williams on a fly and Jay Lizanich on a game ending strikeout to secure the save and decision for Furman.

Paladin freshman Elliott Warford (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory after working four innings and allowing five hits and three runs, all earned, before departing with a 4-3 lead.  He struck out one and walked one.

The loss was charged to Michael Ricchi (0-1), who surrendered four runs on eight hits while fanning one.

Furman banged out 14 hits in the contest, including three each by Will Owens and Hunter Burton, who double twice and scored a pair of runs.  Twin brother Heath Burton went 2-for-4, including a triple that scored Hunter in the fourth to give the Paladins a 4-3 lead.

PC, which collected eight hits, was paced at the plate by Brandon Paul, who went 2-for-4.

Furman grabbed a 2-0 lead in first on a Nitto RBI single and balk on Ricchi that plated Will Muzika.

The Paladins made it 3-0 an inning later when Muzika was hit by a Ricchi pitch with the bases loaded.

The Blue tied it with three runs in the third before Furman took the lead for good in the fourth on Heath Burton's RBI triple down the left field line.

Furman plays at USC Upstate at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.