Furman Takes Down 11th-Ranked South Carolina, 6-5
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Griffin Davis' pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth inning scored Alex Abrams from first base to break a 5-5 tie and lift Furman to a 6-5 victory over 11th-ranked South Carolina in baseball action Wednesday evening at Fluor Field.
The win gave Furman (17-11) a season split with South Carolina (23-7) and marked the Paladins' second win over the Gamecocks in the last three clashes at Fluor Field.
Paladin senior outfielder Taylor Johnson, a Greer, S.C., product, drove in three runs on three hits, including a two-run single in the third and solo home run in the seventh that tied the game at 5-5.
Chris Ohmstede also homered for the Paladins, part of a 3-for-4 performance that raised his batting average to .415 (27-for-65) over the last 16 games. Ohmstede's route job, which came in the fourth to give Furman a 3-1 lead, was his team leading seventh round tripper of the season and third in the last two games at Fluor Field.
Mauldin, S.C., native Ben Carlson (3-1), who came on in relief in the seventh, surrendered three hits but no runs over 1 2/3 innings, to earn the victory.
He gave way to Matt Solter, who got the first two Gamecocks in the ninth before issuing back-to-back walks to Brison Celek and Dante Rosenberg. Solter recovered, however, by inducing a fielder's choice grounder off the bat of Grayson Greiner to end the game and notch his sixth save.
The loss was charged to Jack Wynkoop (4-1), who yielded Davis' RBI double into the left center field gap in the eighth inning that scored Abrams, who reached on an infield error to start the inning.
South Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the first on a George Iskenderian RBI double off Paladin starting pitcher Jake Wolff.
Furman answered in the third with a two-out, two-run single by Johnson, who stroked an offering by Gamecock starter Forrest Koumas into right field to drive home Jordan Simpson and Will Muzika.
Ohmstede's solo home run over the green monster in left field in the fourth made it 3-1, and the Paladins extended their advantage to 4-1 in the fifth on a fielder's choice ground out by Paul Nitto, a product of Greenville's J.L. Mann High School.
South Carolina cut it to 4-2 in the sixth on a Rosenberg single to right field that scored LB Dantzler.
The Gamecocks combined four hits with a walk in the seventh to take a 5-4 lead. Max Schrock's RBI single through left side plated the first run, and Celek followed with a two-run double high off the left center field wall, to drive home Connor Bright and Dantzler.
Furman responded in the bottom of the seventh behind Johnson, who hammered a two-out pitch by Joel Seddon over the left field wall to tie the game at 5-5.
In the decisive eighth, Abrams reached when his top roller to first base was misplayed by Dantzler. After Ohmsted lined out sharply to left field, Heath Burton was lifted for pinch hitter Griffin Davis, who drilled a 1-1 Wynkoop pitch into the left center field gap, allowing Abrams to score from first base.
Celek led USC's 10-hit attack, going 2-for-2 with three walks and two RBI. The Gamecocks stranded 13 runners, leaving the bases loaded in both the fifth and sixth innings.
Furman finished with nine hits.
The Paladins return to Southern Conference play this Friday when they open a three-game home series against Western Carolina beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Latham Stadium.