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Ohmstede 11th Inning Home Run Powers Furman To 5-3 Victory Over Georgia Southern

Andrew MacLatchie
Andrew MacLatchie

STATESBORO, GA. -- Chris Ohmstede belted a two-run home run in the top of the 11th inning to power Furman to a 5-3 victory over Georgia Southern in Southern Conference baseball action Saturday at Clements Stadium.

Ohmstede's shot to left field off of Eagle reliever Kyle Rowe, which broke a 3-3 tie, also scored Paul Nitto, who had singled to lead off the Paladin 11th.

Jacques de Gruy continued his recent rise to prominence by getting the Eagles out in the bottom of the 11th to preserve the victory and earn his first save of the season and second of his career.

The win was the fourth straight for Furman (26-19, 12-14 SoCon), which moved into a seventh place tie in the league standings with Georgia Southern (24-23, 12-14 SoCon).  The Paladins, who scored 10 runs in the eighth inning in Friday's 13-5 pasting of the Eagles, will go for the series sweep in Sunday's finale, which has been rescheduled for 5:00 p.m.  Furman has now won four of the last five meetings with Georgia Southern and is 8-6 in SoCon road games this year.

The Paladins took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning before the Eagles worked Furman reliever Matt Solter for three hits, a walk, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly for two runs to send the game into extra innings.

Furman narrowly avoided disaster in the GSU 10th after reliever Ryan Morse hit the leadoff batter, Stryker Brown, and then misplayed a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Ben Morgan into a error.  Chase Griffin's sharp line drive was speared by Paladin second baseman Jordan Simpson, who flipped the ball to a covering Hunter Burton at second base for a double play.  After a pair of walks, including an intentional pass, loaded the bases, Morse gave way to Brant Masters, who induced Tyler Avera into a ground out to end the threat.

The Paladins fashioned a 14-6 advantage in hits, with Andrew MacLatchie and Greg Harrison leading the way with three hits apiece.

MacLatchie, a freshman catcher, went 3-for-5 with a two-out RBI double in the fourth inning to give Furman a 2-0 lead.  He came back in the seventh with a lead off home run over the left field wall, his third clout of the campaign, to make it a 3-1 game.

Harrison, meanwhile, stayed red hot with doubles in his first two at bats and a single in the sixth, part of a 3-for-5 performance that also saw him score a pair of runs.  The junior designated hitter from Hilton Head, S.C., whose season is just over two weeks old, has hit .475 (19-for-40) with eight doubles, four home runs, and 15 RBI while slugging .975 in 10 games since completing a comeback from a knee injury sustained in the squad's final fall practice.

Ohmstede, who went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs in Friday's win, fashioned a 2-for-5 worksheet on Saturday, with the home run, his ninth of the campaign, marking the first round tripper in nearly a month for the sophomore third baseman.

Paul Nitto and Hunter Burton also collected two hits apiece for the Paladins.

Furman starter Alex Abrams threw six strong innings, allowing only a run on two hits and a walk while striking out four.  In making only the fourth start of his career, the junior from Charleston retired 13 Eagles in a row during one stretch before yielding a two-out walk in the fifth.  Scooter Williams' pinch-hit solo home run in the sixth, only the second hit allowed by Abrams, was the only run surrendered by the Paladin right-hander.

Drake Browne worked a scoreless seventh and Elliott Warford pitched around a double in the eighth to preserve the Paladins' 3-1 lead before the Eagles rallied to tie it in the ninth.

Contested mostly under wet conditions, the game started at 10:30 a.m. to allow several Furman seniors to make a plane trip back to Greenville for 7:00 p.m. graduation ceremonies at Timmons Arena.