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Miller, Furman Run Past Gardner-Webb, 11-7

Will Miller
Will Miller

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Will Miller homered, drove in four runs, and stole three bases to propel Furman past Gardner-Webb, 11-7, in Wednesday evening baseball action at Latham Stadium.

Miller, who reached base four times and scored twice, belted his team leading ninth home run, a three-run shot in the fifth inning, to break open a close game, and his three steals keyed the Paladins to a school record 11 stolen bases for the game, breaking the previous standard of nine set last year against Western Carolina.  The senior center fielder also notched an assist, the 23rd of his career.

The win improved Furman to 20-24 on the campaign and completed the Paladins' season sweep of Gardner-Webb, which had its five-game winning streak snapped in falling to 25-21 on the year.

Hunter Burton singled, doubled, cracked a two-run triple, his Southern Conference leading and Furman season record tying sixth of the year, and swiped three bases.  Will Owens also had three hits, scored three runs, and swiped three bases, and Taylor Johnson continued his recent upswing at the plate with a 3-for-5, two-RBI performance, giving him seven hits in the last two games.

The Paladins overcame a 3-0 deficit, tying the game at 3-3 in the third on a Johnson two-run single and RBI grounder by Alex Abrams.

Furman took the lead an inning later after Will Owens singled and then stole second and third before coming home on Miller's single to left field off Gardner-Webb reliever Brandon Boling.

The Paladins blew the game open in the fifth, combining three hits with an error to score five runs.  Burton's triple off the fence in right center field plated Owens and Chris Ohmstede.  After a Will Muzika walk, Miller drilled the first pitch he saw from the Bulldogs' Matt Liedberg over the left field fence for a three-run clout that made it a 9-3 game.

The Paladins tacked on single runs in the sixth and seventh.

Gardner-Webb, which banged out 12 hits in the contest, was paced offensively by Brad Collins' 3-for-5 performance.

Furman finished with 11 hits.

The win was credited to Stephen Gary (1-0), who allowed only one hit in two innings of scoreless relief.

Boling (0-1) was charged with the loss after surrendering Furman's go-ahead run in the fourth.  He was tagged for three hits and walked three in an inning of work.

Furman returns to Southern Conference play on Friday when it opens a three-game home series against Wofford at 7:30 p.m. at Latham Stadium.  Saturday's game is set for 1:00 p.m., and Sunday's finale is a 2:00 p.m. start.