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Eight-Run 10th Inning Powers Furman Past UNCG, 15-7

Hunter Burton
Hunter Burton

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Hunter Burton had a career high four hits and Furman erupted for eight runs in the top of the 10th inning to beat UNCG, 15-7, in the Southern Conference baseball season opener for both teams Friday evening at UNCG Stadium.

Furman (9-13, 1-0 SoCon) gave up three runs to UNCG (10-11, 0-1 SoCon) in the eighth inning to fall behind 7-5, but rallied to tie the game in the ninth on a Chris Ohmstede RBI double and Greg Harrison sacrifice fly.

After Alex Abrams pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth to send the 7-7 game into extra innings, the Paladins unloaded in the 10th, sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring eight runs on six hits with assistance from two Spartan errors and a pair of wild pitches.

In the decisive 10th, Heath Burton beat out a one-out infield single, stole second, and came around to score the go-ahead run on a throwing error by UNCG third baseman Sean Guite.  Jordan Simpson, Harrison, and Heath Burton, who had two hits in the frame, all delivered RBI base hits, and Andrew MacLatchie knocked in a pair with a double to highlight the outburst, which marked the most productive frame for Furman since posting an eight-spot in the second inning of an eventual 14-10 Paladin victory over The Citadel last year in Greenville.

Abrams (3-1) closed out UNCG in its last turn at the plate to earn the victory in his first relief appearance on the campaign.

Furman banged out a season high 18 hits, led by Hunter Burton, who doubled, singled three times, scored three runs, and stole a base.  Greg Harrison went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs with a double, triple, and two sacrifice flies.  Abrams also had three hits in five at bats and crossed home plate three runs.

Five players had two hits apiece for UNCG, which finished with 14 safeties.

Furman touched Spartan starter Ryan Clark for two runs in the first, but UNCG quickly tied it against Paladin staring pitcher Matt Solter in the bottom of the inning.

UNCG led 4-3 after six innings before the Paladins scored twice in the seventh to go up, 5-4.  Hunter Burton tied it after he came home on a balk, and Abrams gave Furman the lead by scoring on a Harrison sacrifice fly.

The Spartans scored three runs with two outs in the eighth to grab a 7-5 advantage, getting an RBI single from Nin Marrero, a run scoring double by MacAneney, and plating the final run on a wild pitch.

UNCG reliever Tyler Long was victimized by Furman in the ninth, yielding a leadoff double to Hunter Burton and single to Simpson — both of whom later scored to tie the game.

Adam Swim (1-1) was charged with the loss after coming on to get the final out in the ninth.  He got the first out in the 10th before giving up the one-out single to Heath Burton, who scored the first of the eight runs, all of which were unearned.

Due to forecasted bad weather on Sunday, the Paladins and Spartans will play a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. at UNCG Stadium.