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Late Rally Falls Short, Paladins Fall 13-11 To College Of Charleston

Will Muzika vs. Citadel, 2011
Will Muzika vs. Citadel, 2011

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Bradley Goodson went 3-for-5, homered, and drove in six runs to power College of Charleston to a 13-11 Southern Conference victory over Furman Sunday at Latham Stadium, completing the three-game series sweep.

Goodson's three-run clout in the eighth inning off Paladin reliever Brant Masters gave the College of Charleston (12-3, 4-2 SoCon) a 13-5 lead, and as it turned out the Cougars needed the round tripper to hold off Furman (8-8, 0-3 SoCon), who rallied for six runs in the bottom of the frame.

In the Paladin eighth Will Owens' two-out, two-run single off CofC reliever Drew Freie made it 13-11 and moved pinch-runner Heath Burton to third.  

With Will Owens at the plate, Cougar catcher Ryan Welke blocked a Freie pitch in the dirt.  On the play Burton broke for home but Freie scooped up the ball in front of home plate and flipped to Welke, who applied the tag to end the inning.

In the ninth, Furman's Will Muzika stroked a one-out single to right field, but David Peterson, the seventh pitcher of the contest for CofC, regrouped by striking out Paul Nitto and Alex Abrams to end the game and notch his fourth save of the season.

Furman out-hit College of Charleston 15-11 but could not overcome its own pitching, as seven Paladin hurlers combined to surrender 10 walks, seven of which scored. The Paladins also stranded 12 base runners in the contest.

CofC's pitching yielded eight walks, including six in the final three innings.

The Paladins grabbed a 1-0 lead on Miller's first inning solo home run to left field off Cougar starting pitcher Matt Pegler.

College of Charleston got to Paladin starting pitcher Ben Carlson in the fourth.  Brandon Murray's leadoff home run to right field tied the game at 1-1.  Daniel Aldrich then walked and scored on a Marty Gantt double to right center field to make it 2-1.

CofC upped it to 3-1 in the fifth on a Welke solo home run, but Furman knotted the game in its half of the fifth on RBI singles by Owens and Will Muzika.

The Cougars took the lead for good with a two-run sixth and made it 8-3 in the seventh, combining two hits with three walks to plate three runs.

Charleston's five-run eighth, highlighted by Goodson's three-run blast to left center field, stretched the advantage to 13-5 and appeared to set the Cougars up for a decisive win, but for the second straight game CofC's bullpen nearly imploded. Combining three walks with four hits and a Cougar fielding error, Furman pushed across four unearned runs, highlighted by Will Owens' two-out, two-run single to make it a two-run game.

Despite the late game run splurge, the starting pitchers both earned the decisions, with Pegler (3-1) getting the win after yielding three runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings.  He walked two and struck out three.  Carlson (1-2) was charged with the loss after working 5 2/3 inning and yielding five runs on six hits.  He walked three and fanned six.

Owens paced Furman at the plate, going 2-for-5 with three RBI.  Muzika, Nitto, and Hunter Burton also had two hits, as did freshman Jake Jones in his first collegiate start.

Marty Gantt went 2-for-2 and scored twice, and Cody Martin drove in a pair of runs and scored three times for the Cougars.

Furman returns to action on Tuesday with a 7:05 contest at East Tennessee State.