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Furman Falls To Seventh-Ranked South Carolina, 5-2

Will Muzika
Will Muzika

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Seventh-ranked South Carolina combined three hits with an error to score three fifth inning runs on the way to a 5-2 win over Furman in baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Carolina Stadium.

The victory improves South Carolina to 6-1 on the season while Furman falls to 5-2.  The two teams will play again on April 3rd in a 7:00 p.m. game at Fluor Field in Greenville.

With one out in the fifth in a scoreless game, South Carolina's Max Schrock doubled, Graham Saiko walked, and LB Dantzler singled through the right side off Furman pitcher Elliott Warford (0-1) to load the bases.  Warford was replaced on the mound by Drake Browne, who got Erik Payne to ground to third base, but Furman's Chris Ohmstede, after stepping on third to record an out, threw wide of first base, allowing Schrock and Dantzler to score. Payne later came home on Grayson Greiner's single to shortstop to give the Gamecocks a 3-0 lead.

South Carolina added runs in the sixth and seventh to make it a 5-0 game before Furman broke up the shutout by scoring twice in the ninth.  Singles by Hunter Burton, Taylor Johnson, and Paul Nitto off USC reliever Joel Seddon scored Burton. Griffin Davis kept the rally going with his third pinch-hit single of the season, a line drive down the right field line of Gamecock closer Tyler Webb that scored Johnson, but Davis was tagged out after losing his footing approximately 20 feet shy of second base.  Nitto was stranded at third after Webb recovered by striking out Jake Jones and Heath Burton to end the game.

South Carolina starting pitcher Jack Wynkoop (1-0) earned the victory, throwing shutout ball while allowing five hits over five innings.  He fanned two.

Wynkoop got out of the only trouble he faced in the third when Furman banged out three singles, but a pickoff at first base and a Saiko throw from left field that retired the Paldins' Jordan Simpson at the plate ended the threat.

Warford allowed three runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits over 2 1/3 innings to take the loss.

Schrock and Chase Vergason had two hits apiece, including a pair of doubles, for South Carolina, which collected 10 hits in the contest.

Will Muzika, Hunter Burton, and Simpson collected two hits each to lead Furman's nine-hit — all singles — attack.  Muzika's two safeties gave him 201 hits for his career.

The Paladins play host to USC Upstate Wednesday at Latham Stadium.  First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m.