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Ninth Inning Furman Rally Falls Short Versus College of Charleston, 4-3

Nate Smith
Nate Smith

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Christian Powell threw eight innings of shutout ball then watched his bullpen almost give it away in the ninth before the College of Charleston held on to beat Furman, 4-3, Saturday  afternoon in the second game of a three-game Southern Conference series at Latham Stadium.

The Cougars (11-3, 3-2 SoCon) will go for the series sweep of the Paladins (8-7, 0-2 SoCon) on Sunday, with first pitch set for 1:00 p.m.

Powell (3-1) dominated Furman for eight innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while matching a career high eight strikeouts.  The junior right-hander retired the last 13 Paladins he faced and threw 90 pitches, 61 for strikes.

He departed the contest with a 3-0 lead and was the beneficiary of a Cougar run in the ninth that proved to be the game winner.

David Peterson relieved Powell in the Furman ninth and promptly yielded a leadoff single to Will Owens, the Paladins' first hit since the fourth inning.  With one out Will Muzika singled, and Peterson then grazed Paul Nitto with a pitch to load the bases.  Alex Abrams followed with a single to left to score Owens, and Taylor Johnson drew a bases loaded walk to force in Muzika to make it 4-2.

Peterson's troubles continued when a wild pitch allowed Nitto to score from third, pulling the Paladins to within a run while also moving the potential tying and winning runs into scoring position.  Peterson recovered by striking out Harrison Farmer on a 2-2 pitch.  At that point Kyle Owings was summoned from the bullpen, and he ended the Paladin threat by striking out Hunter Burton looking to end the game.

The save was the first of the year for Owings.

The loss was charged to Nate Smith (1-2), who pitched well in defeat.  The Paladin junior left-hander allowed two runs on five hits over six innings while walking two and fanning seven, tying a career high.

Powell pitched out of trouble in the third after Farmer led off with a single and advanced to third on a Hunter Burton double to left field.  The Greenwood native rallied by striking out Zack Greenwell for the first out and getting Will Miller on a fly to center field on a play that initially looked to be a sacrifice fly.  Farmer, however, was ruled out on appeal at third for leaving before the catch, ending the inning.

Brandon Murray's solo home run to right field in the fourth gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead, and CofC made it 2-0 in the sixth on a Tyler Jackson RBI single that plated Brandon Glazer.

Rob Harding's RBI single in the seventh drove home Gunnar Heidt to stretch the advantage to 3-0.

The Cougars combined a hit with a hit batsman and two walks to push across the decisive run in the ninth on a bases loaded walk by Bradley Goodson that drove in Cody Martin.

CofC had eight hits in the game, including 2-for-4 performances by Jackson and Heidt.

Alex Abrams was credited with two of Furman's six hits.