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Wood, Paladins Handle UNC Asheville, 6-1

Tyler Wood vs. Cincinnati, 2011
Tyler Wood vs. Cincinnati, 2011

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Tyler Wood pitched no-hit ball over six innings and Furman pounded out 12 hits on the way to a 6-1 victory over UNC Asheville in baseball action Tuesday afternoon at breezy Greenwood Field.

The win was the fifth straight for Furman (8-5), which will open Southern Conference play on Friday when it entertains College of Charleston at Latham Stadium in a 6:00 p.m. game.

Wood (2-1) faced the minimum over the first six innings before UNCA's Jordan Lurie led off the seventh with a double and later scored on a one-out single by Billy Creighton. The sophomore right-hander rallied to get the final two outs, including a strikeout to end the frame with Furman leading 4-1.

Wood needed only 78 pitches and recorded five strikeouts in his strongest outing as a Paladin since throwing a complete game, one-hit shutout against Ohio in his collegiate debut last season.  He also rolled 12 ground outs in posting his second consecutive winning decision.

Paul Nitto paced Furman at the plate with a 3-for-4, two-RBI performance, and Will Muzika drove in three runs via two sacrifice flies and an RBI triple.

Will Owens, Will Miller, and Zack Greenwell also had two hits apiece for the Paladins.

Furman tallied all the runs it would need in the third off Bulldog starting and losing pitcher Brian Connolly (1-1).  Hunter Burton led off with a triple to right center and scored on Greenwell's infield single.  Following a Will Miller double, Muzika drove home Greenwell with a sacrifice fly, and Miller then came home on a Nitto single up the middle for a 3-0 lead.

Muzika's RBI triple in the fifth scored Owens to make it 4-0, and the Paladins answered the Bulldogs' tally in the seventh with runs in the eighth and ninth.

Matt Solter followed Wood with a perfect eighth, and in the ninth Elliott Warford yielded a couple of singles before inducing a double play ground ball and ground out to secure the win.

Lurie had two of UNCA's four hits.

Furman Notes

Furman's five-game winning streak is its longest since the 2008 season.  Tyler Wood has gone 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA (11.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) in his last two starts (vs. Gardner-Webb & UNC Asheville).  Opponents have hit just .158 against him in those two games.  Furman has recorded a staff ERA of 3.28 over its last eight games (6-2), with opponents hitting just .224 during that stretch.