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Furman Clips Wofford In The Ninth, 4-3

Stephen Gary vs. Clemson, 2011
Stephen Gary vs. Clemson, 2011

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Taylor Johnson scored on a throwing error with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give Furman a 4-3 victory over Wofford in the opening game of a three-game Southern Conference baseball series Friday evening at Latham Stadium.

Johnson led off the ninth with a single to third base and advanced to second on a sacrifice.  After Heath
Burton worked a two-out walk off Terrier reliever Alex Wilson, Will Owens bounced a ground ball to the right of Wofford third baseman Eric Brenk, who dove and collected the ball, but his throw to first base was wide and skipped past Konstantine Diamaduros, allowing Johnson to race home with the game winning run.

The victory was the third straight for Furman (21-24, 8-14 SoCon) and halted the Paladins' seven-game SoCon losing streak.  It also extended Furman's winning streak over Wofford (18-27, 5-17 SoCon) to nine games and marked the 11th consecutive triumph over the Terriers in Greenville.

In addition to plating the game winner, Johnson continued his torrid work at the plate, registering a 3-for-4 performance with two runs.  The junior from Greer, S.C., has gone 12-for-19 in the last four games and has hit .463 (19x41) over the Paladins' last 10 contests.

Furman trailed 3-0 against Wofford starter Brandon Yarusi before tying it with three runs in the bottom of the seventh.  Paul Nitto led off with a solo home run — his fourth of the season and only the Paladins' second hit of the game — to make it 3-1.  Johnson followed with a single and stolen base.  With one out Chris Ohmstede stroked an RBI single to center field and took second on the the throw home that bounced off the glove of Terrier catcher David Roney, allowing Ohmstede to reach third.  Heath Burton's bunt single plated Ohmstede to knot the game at 3-3.

Wofford threatened in the ninth by putting two runners on, but Paladin reliever Stephen Gary rallied by striking out Matt Moore and getting James Foster on a comebacker to send the game into the bottom of the ninth.

Gary (2-0) earned his second victory in three days after coming on in relief of Paladin starter Bobby Lyne with two outs in the seventh.  The senior left-hander from Greenwood, S.C., allowed only one hit and a walk while strking out four over the final 2 1/3 innings.

Lyne and Yarusi pitched brilliantly over the first six frames, with Wofford managing only an unearned run in the sixth to take a 1-0 lead.

The Terriers got to Lyne in the seventh, stretching their lead to 3-0 on Matt Moore's two-run home run to left field that chased Lyne.

Yarusi (4-6) was charged with the loss after allowing four runs, only two of which were earned, over 8 1/3 innings.  He walked four and struck out five.

Furman claimed an 8-6 advantage with Johnson's three hits leading the way, followed by Owens' 2-for-5 outing.  James Plaisted led Wofford offensively, going 2-for-4.  Moore's two-run clout was his first of the season.

Game two of the series is set for 1:00 p.m. Saturday.