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Furman Falls To Georgia Southern, 10-7, In 12 Innings In SoCon Semifinals

Alex Abrams
Alex Abrams
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CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Georgia Southern scored three runs in the top of the 12th inning to post a 10-7 victory over Furman in Southern Conference Baseball Tournament semifinal elimination game action Saturday at Joseph P. Riley Park.

The Eagles survived a furious Furman comeback that saw the Paladins rally from a 7-1 deficit in the seventh innings to tie the game with three runs in the bottom of the ninth, sending it to extra innings.

Furman put a pair of runners on in 10th, one in the 11th, and two more in the 12th inning but failed to score. The Paladins stranded 15 runners on base in the contest.

The loss ends the season for Furman (26-33).  The Paladins played their way into the double elimination rounds of the tournament with a 6-5 win over UNCG and beat both tournament No. 1 seed and regular season champion Western Carolina, 3-2, and No. 5 seed Appalachian State, 3-1, before dropping a pair of games to Georgia Southern (38-21) on Saturday.

Georgia Southern grabbed command of the game early, scoring three runs in the second inning against Paladin starting pitcher Elliott Warford.  Stryker Brown led off with a single and later scored on a Garrett Chapman single.  Hunter Thomas came home on a wild pitch, and Chapman tallied the final run of the frame on a Busby single.

Aaron Mizzell made it 4-0 an inning later with a solo home run to right field.

Stymied by Georgia Southern starting pitcher Jason Richman, who struck out four and allowed only one hit over the first three innings, Furman got on the board with a run in the fourth via an Alex Abrams groundout.

Georgia Southern answered with a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh against Paladin reliever Brant Masters for a 7-1 lead.

The Paladins began their comeback in the bottom of the seventh, plating three runs on four hits against Georgia Southern reliever Matt McCall.  Hunter Burton's bases loaded walk forced in the first run, and Carter Grote followed with a sharp double down the left field line to drive home Jake Jones and Sky Overton.

Furman's chance for a bigger inning ended when Chris Ohmstede bounced into an inning ending double play.

The Paladins threatened again in the eighth, loading the bases on singles by Abrams, Cameron Whitehead, and Griffin Davis, but GSU reliever Eric Alonzo struck out Hunter Burton swinging to end the threat.

Furman wouldn't go away and in the ninth put Georgia Southern on the ropes.  Grote reached on a throwing error to lead off, and Greg Harrison was hit by a pitch to bring Ohmstede to the plate.  His single through the left side scored Grote, and Alex Abrams followed with a base hit to left center to drive home Harrison and cut GSU's lead to 7-6.

With one out Jake Jones singled to left center to tie the game and put runners at first and third.  Furman's bid to win the game was cut short, however, when Cameron Whitehead bounced into an inning ending double play.

In the 10th the Paladins had runners at second and third base when GSU second baseman Ben Morgan collected a line drive off Ohmstede's bat.

In the decisive 12th, Kody Adams doubled to lead off and later scored the go-ahead run on a Garren Palmer single.  The Eagles tacked up on two more runs for the three-run lead.

Furman didn't go quietly in its last at bat, as Kyle Simmons delivered a leadoff single, and Hunter Burton was hit by a pitch with no outs.  GSU pitcher Tripp Sheppard (1-1) recovered to get the first out on a fielder's choice, second out on a line out to right field, and game ending fly ball to right field.

Furman overcame its slow start to collect 15 hits, with Abrams (3-for-6, 2 RBI) and Jones (3-for-6, RBI, run) leading the way.

Georgia Southern finished with 15 hits, with Dalton Busby leading with the way with a 3-for-5, two-RBI performance.  Six other Eagles registered two-hit efforts

Sheppard earned the win after tossing shutout ball over the final three innings, allowing three hits and two walks.

Abrams (8-3), playing in his final collegiate game in his hometown, was the tough luck loser for Furman.  After working four scoreless innings, he was charged with all three Georgia Southern runs in the 12th.   He struck out six.