Furman Beats Dayton, 5-2
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Chris Ohmstede homered for the second straight game and Alex Abrams delivered another solid start on the mound to lead Furman to a 5-2 victory over Dayton in baseball action Friday afternoon at Latham Stadium.
The win was the fifth straight for Furman (31-23), which is now assured of at least a sixth place finish in the Southern Conference standings after the College of Charleston knocked off Georgia Southern, 3-2, on Friday afternoon to drop the Eagles into seventh place, a half game behind the Paladins. Furman owns the tiebreaker against GSU by virtue of its series win in Statesboro earlier this month.
Furman could still grab fifth place, but that would require losses by Appalachian State in the Mountaineers' final two games against league regular season champion Western Carolina, scheduled for Friday evening and Saturday.
Ohmstede, who went 2-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs, continued his late season surge at the plate with a solo home run — his team leading 13th of the season — in the sixth that extended a one-run Paladin lead to a 4-2 advantage, and an inning later drove home Taylor Johnson with a RBI single for the game's final run. The sophomore third baseman has hit .431 (22-for-51) with four home runs and 24 RBI over his last 13 games.
Abrams (5-1), meanwhile, tacked on another quality start since moving from the bullpen into the weekend rotation in mid-April, earning the victory after throwing a career best seven innings and allowing two runs on five hits and no walks while lowering his season earned run average to 2.73.
The junior right-hander's one notable mistake came in the second inning when he left a pitch up to Dayton's Kevin Colbrun, who deposited it over the left field fence to a two-run home run that gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
Furman tied it in the third after Jordan Simpson led off with a single and later scored on a Greg Harrison groundout to third base.
The Paladins took the lead for good in the fifth when Hunter Burton stroked a leadoff triple into the right center field gap and came home on an infield error.
Ohmstede's towering solo home to left field made it 4-2 in the sixth, and his RBI single an inning later plated Johnson, who had led off with a double down the left field line.
Johnson matched Ohmstede with two RBI and continued his recent torrid pace at the plate that has seen him go 15-for-22 (.681) and drive in 10 runs over the last five games.
Elliott Warford pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to record his first save of the season.
The Paladins notched 10 hits, including three by Burton, whose triple was his second in the last three games and ninth of his career. He also scored two runs.
Jake Jones, returning from a nine-day a absence due to injury, singled and doubled in two trips to the plate for the Paladins.
Ralph Alloco joined Colburn in collecting two hits apiece for the Flyers, who finished with six hits.
Saturday's finale, which is set for noon at Latham Stadium, will be preceded by recognition of Furman's eight-member senior class.
The Paladins open SoCon Tournament play next Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. at Fluor Field.