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Wood, Furman Stymie Western Carolina, 6-1

Tyler Wood
Tyler Wood

CULLOWHEE, N.C. -- Tyler Wood pitched eight strong innings and received solid early run support to lead Furman to a 6-1 victory over Western Carolina in Sunday's Southern Conference series finale at Hennon Stadium.

The win gave Furman (13-23, 4-8 SoCon) the two games to one series victory and handed SoCon frontrunner Western Carolina (23-11, 9-3 SoCon) its first home league series loss since 2012.  Of the Catamounts' five SoCon regular season losses over the last 30 games, three have come to the Paladins.

Wood (3-1), a senior right-hander from St. Louis, Mo., scattered seven hits and allowed only one run in matching his longest career outing since 2011, his freshman season.  He walked one and struck out four.

As it turned out Wood got all the run support he would need in the first inning when Chris Ohmstede belted his third home run of the series, a two-run shot to left center field off Catamount starting and losing pitcher Jordan Smith (5-3).

Jordan Simpson led off the Furman second with a solo home run to left field, his second of the season, to make it 3-0.

The Paladins stretched the advantage to 4-0 in the fifth after Greg Harrison singled with two outs and later scored on a fielding error by Catamount first baseman Jacob Hoyle.

Western Carolina got on the board in the bottom of the fifth when J.D. Long tripled down the right field line and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Furman padded its lead with two runs in the eighth.  Pinch hitter Jarrod Rickman battled back from a no-ball, two-strike count to draw a bases loaded walk and force in Jake Jones, and Heath Burton followed with an RBI single to drive home Carter Grote.

Alex Abrams took over for Wood and retired the Catamounts in order in the ninth to secure the win.

The Paladins banged out 12 hits, including two each by Ohmstede (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), Simpson (2-for-4, HR), Jones (2-for-4, run), and Harrison (2-for-5, run).

Adam Martin had three of Western Carolina's seven hits.

The loss was charged to Smith, who gave up four runs, three of which were earned, on 10 hits while walking two.  He struck out five.

Furman plays at Presbyterian on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.