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Rickman Lifts Furman Past Miami University, 6-5, In 11 Innings

Jarrod Rickman
Jarrod Rickman

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Jarrod Rickman delivered a two-out, bases loaded walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Furman a 6-5 victory over Miami University in baseball action Friday afternoon at Latham Stadium.

Furman (3-1), which claimed its second win over Miami (OH) on the young season, will play a doubleheader on Saturday at Fluor Field in downtown Greenville, facing Michigan State at 2:00 followed by a matchup with Cincinnati at 6:00.

Rickman, Furman's designated hitter who had gone 0-for-4 with three strikeouts prior to coming to the plate in the 11th, drilled a one-strike offering by Redhawks reliever Charlie Suich into the right center field gap to easily score Taylor Johnson from third base for the game winner.

Johnson singled with one out in the 11th and moved to second on a Griffin Davis two-out, pinch-hit single.  Both Johnson and Davis advanced on a wild pitch before teammate Jake Jones loaded the bases by working Redhawks' pitcher Seth Varner for a walk.  Varner was replaced by Suich, who yielded Rickman's game winning hit.

Furman led 5-3 going to the ninth before the Redhawks combined two hits with an error, a wild pitch, and failure by the Paladins to execute a potential game ending double play to push across two unearned runs that tied the game at 5-5.

The Paladins took the 5-3 lead in the sixth on a towering two-run home by catcher Paul Nitto off Redhawks starter Brooks Fiala.

Fiala, who surrendered five runs on seven hits over seven frames, yielded a two-run double to Johnson in the third that gave Furman a 3-2 lead.

Miami tied it in the fifth against Paladin starter Nate Smith, plating an unearned run on a dropped fly ball.  Smith, who allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits, struck out seven but yielded five walks.  He was replaced with two outs in the fifth by Drake Browne, who worked 2 1/3 innings of no-hit relief with four strikeouts.  Ben Carlson retired the Redhawks in order in the eighth before giving way to Matt Solter, whose two runs allowed in the Miami ninth were both unearned.

Furman's pitching staff combined for 14 strikeouts in the contest.

Johnson led Furman's 13-hit attack with a 3-for-5, 3-RBI performance.  Will Muzika had two hits and scored two runs, and Jake Jones also collected two hits.

Davis' pinch hit single in the 11th was his second in consecutive games.

Miami managed only five hits, including two each by Sedio and Nate Bowles.

The win went to Ryan Dittmar (1-0), who pitched a perfect final two frames and recorded a strikeout for the Paladins.

Redhawks reliever Charles Zubrod (0-1) was charged with the loss after yielding the one-out single in the 11th to Johnson, who later scored the game winner.