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Furman Beats Toledo, 13-5, To Gain Sunday Doubleheader Split

Heath Burton
Heath Burton

Paladins Take 2 Of 3 Games In The First Pitch Invitational

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Furman baseball team split a Sunday doubleheader, dropping an 11-6 decision to Xavier at Latham Stadium before bouncing back to post a 13-5 win over Toledo at Fluor Field in the First Pitch Invitational sponsored by the Greenville Drive.

The split give the Paladins a 2-1 record on the young season.

In Sunday's first game against Xavier, the Muskateers used a six-run second inning to grab a 6-1 lead and then held off a Furman comeback to earn the victory.

Xavier's Daniel Rizzie and Derek Hasenbeck registered three hits apiece and Mitch Elliott homered and drove in a pair of runs to highlight a 14-hit attack.

Furman trailed 9-1 before scoring five runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by a two-out, two-run double by Heath Burton that pulled the Paladins to within three at 9-6.

The Paladins threatened in the seventh after putting two runners on base with no outs but couldn't cash in as Xavier reliever Brad Kirschner struck out the next two Paladins and then watched as Muskateer left fielder Joe Forney made a full sprint extended catch on a line drive off the bat of Furman's Griffin Davis to end the threat.

Xavier put the game on ice in the ninth with a pair of runs, making a winner of starting pitcher Vinny Nittoli (1-0).

The loss was charged to Paladin starting pitcher Matt Solter (0-1), who failed to survive the second, allowing six runs on six hits and a pair of walks in 1 1/3 innings.

Chris Ohmstede had three of Furman's nine hits.

In Sunday's second game against Toledo, Heath Burton and Greg Harrison registered three hits apiece and Furman scored runs in five consecutive innings en route to the win.

With the score tied 1-1, the Paladins struck for four runs in the fourth on an RBI grounder by Sky Overton, run-scoring infield single from Burton, and RBI singles by Harrison and Jarrod Rickman to go up 5-1.

The Paladins added a run in the fifth, two more in the sixth on a Jordan Simpson two-out, two-run single, and then blew the game open with a five-run seventh, capped by Andrew MacLatchie's RBI double, part of a 2-for-4 performance.

Furman finished the game with 12 hits.

Alex Abrams (1-0) pitched 4 1/3 innings to earn the win, allowing a pair of runs on seven hits.

Jacques de Gruy came on in the sixth and tossed 2 2/3 innings of effective relief, allowing one run on two hits while striking out three.

Toledo banged out 11 safeties in the contest, with four players — Tyler Grogg, Deion Tensel, Dan Zuchowski, and Jacob North — registering two hits each.

The loss was charged to Kyle Slack, who allowed four runs on five hits over 3 1/3 innings.  He walked three and fanned three.

Furman plays at East Tennessee State on Tuesday, with first pitch set for 3:00 p.m.