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Furman Holds Off Georgia Southern, 9-8, With Dramatic Game Ending Double Play

Chris Ohmstede
Chris Ohmstede

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Chris Ohmstede and Jake Jones both homered and scored three runs, and Furman turned a dramatic game ending double play to hold off Georgia Southern, 9-8, in Sunday's Southern Conference baseball series finale at Latham Stadium.

The victory gave the Paladins (13-12, 3-6 SoCon) the series victory over the Eagles (11-13, 3-6 SoCon) two games to one.

Furman, which trailed 8-4 in the sixth inning, battled back to tie the game with three runs in the seventh, and then took a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the eighth when Will Muzika slid home just ahead of the tag on Will Owens' sacrifice fly to center field.

In the Georgia Southern ninth Garren Palmer led off with a single and with one out pinch runner Zac Lenns moved to third on a Tyler Avera single through the right side.  Ben Morgan followed with a pop up bunt that both pitcher Elliott Warford and first baseman Taylor Johnson dove to catch.  The ball bounced in fair territory off Warford, who collected it and from his posterior threw to Muzika at first base to get the out.  Muzika then fired to shortstop Hunter Burton at second to put the tag on Avera for the game's final out before Lenns, who initially froze at third, could get halfway home with the potential game tying run.

Warford (2-0) was credited with the victory after working a scoreless eighth and ninth, allowing two hits and a walk.

Drew Johnson (0-1) took the loss, yielding the game deciding run in the eighth on a hit in 1 1/3 innings of work.  He walked one and struck out one.

Muzika's leadoff flare double down the right field line in the eighth helped cap the Paladin comeback.  He was sacrificed to third by Paul Nitto, and after a pair of walks loaded the bases, came home on Owens' sacrifice fly.

Furman grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third, but Georgia Southern responded with a three-run fourth, highlighted by Morgan's two-run double to right field off Paladin starting pitcher Ben Carlson.

The Eagles made it 4-2 in the fifth on a Chase Griffin RBI single.

The Paladins tied the game in their side of the fifth on back-to-back solo home runs by Ohmstede and Jones.

It didn't remain tied long as Georgia Southern put up four runs in the sixth on the strength of a Casey Kicklighter solo home run and two-run round tripper by Scooter Williams that gave the Eagles an 8-4 advantage.

Will Miller's RBI groundout in the sixth cut the lead to 8-5, and an inning later the Paladins tied it with three more runs.  Ohmstede doubled to lead off and scored on Jones' triple.  Owens then drove home Jones with an infield hit and later scored on a swinging third strike wild pitch from Johnson.

Ohmstede and Jones, both freshmen, went 3-for-3, homered, and scored three runs to pace Furman's 11-hit attack.

Georgia Southern banged out 13 hits in the contest, with Morgan, Avera, and Michael Burruss collecting two hits apiece.

Furman returns to action on Wednesday with a 6:00 p.m. road contest at Winthrop that will be broadcast by Furman Greenville flagship station WOLT-FM 103.3 and also through StretchAudio at  Dan Scott, "The Voice of the Paladins" will deliver the play-by-play.