Furman Downs Georgia, 7-5
ATHENS, GA. -- Alex Abrams went for 4-for-5 and Will Muzika reached base five times and scored twice to help Furman defeat Georgia, 7-5, in baseball action Tuesday evening at Foley Field.
The victory was Furman's third straight over Georgia and the Paladins' fourth win in the last five clashes with the Bulldogs.
The Paladins banged out 10 hits in the contest and benefited from seven walks and three wild pitches by Georgia pitching.
Furman (15-6) struck for three runs in the first inning and never trailed.
Muzika walked to lead off the game and scored on a Taylor Johnson single to left field. A wild pitch by Bulldog starting pitcher David Gonzalez allowed Hunter Burton to sprint home, and Johnson made it 3-0 on an Abrams RBI single to left field.
Hunter Cole's two-run home run in the bottom of the first off Furman starting pitcher Tyler Wood sliced the lead to 3-2, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get.
Muzika was hit by a pitch to start the second and later scored on a Johnson ground out.
The Paladins stretched their advantage to 7-2 with a three-run fifth, combining three hits with a walk, an error, and a wild pitch. A Chris Ohmstede double to left center field put runners at second and third, and they came home an RBI grounder by Griffin Davis and Jarrod Rickman single up the middle against a drawn-in Bulldog infield.
Georgia cut it to 7-4 in the seventh with a Kyle Farmer RBI triple and sacrifice fly by Cole.
The Bulldogs made it 7-5 with a run in the eighth and threatened for more, but Paladin left fielder Griffin Davis' charging, diving catch on a Nelson Ward pop fly ended the inning, stranding a runner at third base.
In the Georgia ninth, Furman closer Matt Solter allowed a two-out single but rallied to strike out Zack Bowers to end the game and notch his fifth save of the campaign.
Abrams singled four times in his five at bats to continue a recent stretch that has seen him go 13-for-22 (.590) over the last six games.
Muzika, who registered five plate appearances, walked four times — one shy of the Furman single game record — was hit by a pitch, scored two runs, and stole a base — his 10th in the last eight games.
Chris Ohmstede went 2-for-5 with a double and run scored.
The win was credited to Drake Browne (1-0), who came on to start the fourth and worked 1 2/3 innings of shutout ball. He struck out two and retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth before yielding back-to-back walks.
Elliott Warford relieved Browne and got out of a bases loaded jam by retiring Zack Bowers on a fly ball.
Gonzalez (0-2) was charged with the loss after giving up four runs on three hits, three walks, a hit batsman, and a wild pitch in one-plus innings.
Furman opens a three-game Southern Conference series this Friday when it entertains Samford in a 6:00 p.m.