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Furman Tops Eastern Kentucky, 7-3

Will Muzika vs. Citadel, 2011
Will Muzika vs. Citadel, 2011

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Will Muzika went 3-for-5 and belted his first home run of the year to lead Furman past Eastern Kentucky, 7-3, in baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Latham Stadium.

Muzika, a senior outfielder from Spartanburg, S.C., singled and scored in both the first and fourth innings, and cracked his 23rd career home run — a solo shot to left field in the sixth — to help Furman (13-4) win for the sixth time in its last seven games.  The Dorman High School product also drove in pair of runs, scored three times, and tallied his 10th stolen base of the season.

Furman senior catcher/first baseman Paul Nitto extended his NCAA Division I longest active hitting streak to 25 games with an RBI single in the fourth.  He also singled in the sixth in a 2-for-4 performance, and Chris Ohmstede had two hits in four at bats.

Tyler Wood (2-0) earned the victory after working five innings before departing with a 5-2 lead.  He surrendered two runs on five hits and walked a pair while striking out four.

The Paladins banged out 11 hits against Eastern Kentucky (4-8) and made a loser of Colonel starting pitcher Cameron Langfels (0-1), who was touched for six of Furman's seven runs, yielding eight hits and three walks.  He struck out two.

Furman grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first after Muzika singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, and stole third before coming home on a second wild pitch by Langfels.

The Paladins broke the game open with a five-run fifth, combining five hits with an Eastern Kentucky error.  Alex Abrams led off with a solo home run to right field.  Three batters  later Andrew MacLatchie's single to center field scored Griffin Davis, and Muzika followed with an RBI single to drive in Chris Ohmeste.  A Taylor Johnson sacrifice fly plated Jordan Simpson for the inning's fourth run, and Nitto capped the outburst with a base hit to left field to drive in Muzika for a 6-0 Furman lead.

Eastern Kentucky got on the board in the fifth with a two-run home run by Matt Phipps off of Wood.

The Paladins went to their bullpen in the sixth and Ryan Dittmar, Alex Abrams, and Matt Solter combined to work the final four innings, allowing a run on one hit.

The Colonels were led at the plate by Austin Grisham, who went 2-for-4 with a run.

Furman opens a Southern Conference series on Friday with a 6:00 p.m. game at Davidson.  Saturday's contest at Davidson is a 2:00 p.m. start, and Sunday's finale will be played at Greenville's Fluor Field, with first pitch set for 2:00 p.m.  The Wildcats will be the home team in all three games.