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Ohmstede Three-Run Ninth Inning Home Run Lifts Furman Past ETSU, 9-8

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GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Chris Ohmstede belted a three-run walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Furman to a dramatic 9-8 victory over East Tennessee State in Wednesday baseball action at Latham Stadium.

Ohmstede's clout, his second of the game and team leading eighth of the season, came off Buccaneer closer Clinton Freeman and easily cleared the fence in left field, completing a six-run comeback by the Paladins, who trailed 8-3 in the sixth inning.

Ohmstede, whose solo home run in the eighth pulled the Paladins to within two runs at 8-6, was robbed of a route job in the first inning when ETSU left fielder Jordan Samford extended well over the fence to glove an Ohmstede fly ball before it landed in the hedge beyond the field of play.

The junior third baseman went 2-for-3 in the game and drove in six runs on the strength of two sacrifice flies and the two home runs, which gave him 28 for his career, tying him with former teammate Will Muzika for sixth on Furman's career ledger.

The Paladins' ninth was set up by Hunter Burton's one-out single.  After Jake Jones reached on a fielder's choice, Greg Harrison singled to third base to bring Ohmstede to the plate for the game deciding long ball.

The win was just the second for Furman (19-28) this season when trailing after eight innings.

Alex Abrams (5-1), who worked a perfect top half of the ninth, used the Paladin rally to notch the win while Freeman (2-5) took the loss after inheriting a two-run lead in the bottom of the inning.

East Tennessee State (24-23) appeared on the way to avenging an early season, 5-3 loss to the Paladins in Johnson City by grabbing a 4-1 lead after three innings.  The Paladins, however, cut it to 4-3 with two runs in the third on a Jones RBI grounder and Ohmstede's second sacrifice fly of the game.

The Buccaneers tallied a run in the fourth and three more in the sixth go up 8-3 before the Paladins mounted their comeback beginning with Harrison's leadoff home run in the sixth off Buccaneer hurler Jimmy Nesselt. A Carter Grote sacrifice fly later in the inning made it an 8-5 game.

Furman cut it to 8-6 in the eighth on a one-out Ohmstede solo blast to left field.

The Paladins' late game rally was fueled by solid relief work by Brant Masters, Elliott Warford, and Abrams, who combined to keep the Buccaneers scoreless over the final 3 1/3 innings.

Hunter Burton went 4-for-4, scored two runs, and swiped two bases to tie the school season steals record (35) first set by Eddie Halleman (1986).

Six of Furman's 12 hits came in the last two innings.

The first five hitters in East Tennessee State's feasted on Paladin pitching, combining for 12 of the Buccaneers' 16 hits.  Jeremy Taylor and Chris Riopedre led the way with three hits apiece while Chris Cook (2-for-for-5, 3 runs), Freeman (2-for-4, 2 runs) Tyler Roach (2-for-3, run), and Jordan Sanford (2-for-4) rounded out the multi-hit performances for the Buccaneers.  Kevin Phillips added three RBI.

Furman opens its final Southern Conference home series of the season on Friday when it entertains Elon at Latham Stadium in a 6:00 p.m. game.