MT. PLEASANT, S.C. -- Taylor Johnson homered twice, drove in three runs, and scored four times to lead Furman past the College of Charleston, 11-9, in the completion of Friday's Southern Conference game that was suspended in the middle of the eighth inning due to rain.
Furman led 9-7 when the contest was suspended Friday evening, but the advantage didn't last long after play resumed Saturday afternoon as the Cougars took advantage of a pair of walks and a hit batsman by Paladin reliever Elliott Warford to tie the game on Gunnar Heidt's two-out, two-run single to center field.
The Paladins answered in the top of the ninth, however, loading the bases with no outs on singles by Johnson and Paul Nitto, and a walk by Alex Abrams off of Cougar reliever Drew Freie. Chris Ohmstede followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Johnson to give Furman a 10-9 lead. After a Greg Harrison single again loaded the bases, Griffin Davis delivered an RBI single to drive in Nitto for an 11-9 Furman lead.
The Cougars put their first two batters on base in the bottom of the ninth, but Paladin closer Matt Solter rallied to get Cody Martin and Bradley Goodson on fly outs and Morgan Phillips on a strikeout to nail down the win and his eighth save of the campaign.
The win improved to Furman to 20-16 on the season and 8-11 in SoCon play. College of Charleston fell to 20-17 overall and 11-7 in league action.
Johnson's productive work at the plate, which included solo home run in the first and two-run blast in the fifth, was complemented by a 2-for-3 performance by Alex Abrams, who stroked a solo home run in the fourth and a two-run double in the seventh. In addition, junior designated hitter Greg Harrison, making the first start of his Paladin career following a knee injury in fall practice, homered in his first at bat, belting a two-run shot to left field in the second inning off of CofC starting pitcher Matt Pegler to give Furman a 3-2 lead.
Abrams' two-run shot in the fourth, which followed a Nitto single, put Furman ahead 5-4, and Johnson's two-run shot in fifth extended the lead to 7-4.
The Cougars played long ball in the sixth to tie the game, getting a Cody Martin two-run home run and solo shot by Morgan Phillips off of Furman starting pitcher Nate Smith.
Abrams' seventh inning double off of Cougar reliever Micheal Hanzlik drove home Johnson and Hunter Burton to give the Paladins a 9-7 lead prior to the game's suspension.
The Paladins, who finished with 16 hits, got three hits from Griffin Davis and two hits apiece from Nitto and Muzika.
College of Charleston matched Furman's four home runs with four clouts of their own — by Brandon Murray, Carl Wise, Martin, and Phillips.
Warford (1-5) was the beneficiary of the Paladins' two-run ninth, earning the win despite allowing two runs on a hit and two walks in his lone inning of work.
Freie (3-4) was charged with the loss after surrendering two runs on five hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings.