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Furman Tops Harvard, 8-6, Wins Series

Furman topped Harvard, 8-6, on Saturday to win the series.

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Ben Anderson went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs and Sims Griffith broke open a tie game with an RBI double in the eighth inning to help Furman defeat Harvard, 8-6, in Saturday baseball action at Latham Stadium.

The victory gave Furman (13-7) the series victory three games to one and marked the Paladins' 10th triumph in their last 13 games.

The Paladins turned six double plays in the contest, ending the second, sixth, eighth, and ninth innings with twin killings.

Anderson, a freshman center fielder who homered in a 4-for-5, five-RBI performance in the series opening 16-3 win on Thursday, and belted a second round tripper in Friday's 7-6 victory, recorded his third clout of the series in the first inning to get Furman on the board.  He singled and scored in the third, stroked an RBI single an inning later to give the Paladins a 4-2 lead, and collected his fourth consecutive hit in the sixth with a single that drove home Bret Huebner to help build a 6-3 advantage.

The LaGrange, Ga., product, who is hitting a team leading .412 on the season, went 11-of-17 in the series (.647) with three home runs, two doubles, 11 RBI, and five runs scored.

Furman led 6-3 before running into trouble in the seventh.  Harvard used a walk and three consecutive singles to cut it to 6-4 and chase Paladin starting pitcher Nik Verbeke.  His replacement, Heath Hawkins, walked the first batter he faced to force in a run to make it 6-5 and then hit the Crimson's Jake Suddleson to tie the game.  Hawkins bounced back by striking out Hunter Bigge and getting Austin Black on a fly ball to end the frame.

The Crimson threatened again in the eighth after Hawkins issued a leadoff walk and Chad Minato bounced a  pitch from John Michael Bertrand into right field to put runners on the corners; however, the Paladins turned a double play ground ball off the bat of Ben Skinner to escape the threat.

In the Paladin eighth Jabari Richards singled to left field, stole second, and advanced to third on a ground out by Anderson before cruising home on Griffith's rocket double down the left field line that gave Furman a 7-6 lead.  Griffith then raced home on Jason Costa's single that bounded over the head of Crimson third baseman Hunter Bigge.

Harvard got its own bad hop single in the ninth to put a runner on base, and Suddleson followed with a single.  The threat died, however, when pinch hitter Jake Forte grounded sharply to Jake Crawford, who stepped on third base and completed the double play throw to first to end the game.

Anderson's four-hit day highlighted Furman's 15-hit attack.  Griffith went 3-for-4, doubled twice, drove in two, and scored a pair of runs, and Bret Huebner and Jabari Richards both went 2-for-3 and scored two runs.

Skinner, Jake Allen, and Patrick McColl, the Crimson's first three hitters in the lineup, combined to account for eight of Harvard's 11 hits.

Bertrand (3-0), who earned the victory in Furman's 8-3 triumph over Winthrop on Tuesday, collected his second win of the week, working the final two innings, allowing three hits while striking out one.

Kiernan Shaw (1-4) was charged with the loss after surrendering two runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings of work.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information