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Furman Opens Southern Conference Season At Samford

Furman OF Jabari Richards
Jabari Richards

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman's baseball team opens Southern Conference play this weekend at defending league tournament championship Samford beginning with tonight's 7:00 p.m. ET (6:00 p.m. CT) contest at the Bulldogs' Joe Lee Griffin.

Saturday's game is a scheduled 3:00 p.m. ET (2:00 p.m. CT) start, and first pitch for Sunday's series finale is set for 2:00 p.m. ET (1:00 CT).

All three game will be live streamed via ESPN3 and sport a Furman audio broadcast with "The Voice of the Paladins" Dan Scott on the call.  Links to the ESPN3 and Furman's Stretch Audio broadcasts can be accessed through

Samford (14-6, 0-0 SoCon), the SoCon's preseason No. 1 pick in a poll of league head coaches, is coming off 6-4 home loss to nationally second-ranked Mississippi State on Wednesday. 

The Bulldogs' announced starting pitching rotation for the series includes sophomore left-hander Samuel Strickland (3-1, 4.32 ERA) in tonight's opener, followed by senior right-hander Jesse McCord (1-1, 5.48 ERA) on Saturday and junior right-hander Zach Hester (2-1, 3.47 ERA) on Sunday.

Furman will counter tonight with sophomore left-hander Matt Lazzaro (0-2, 6.12 ERA), freshman right-hander Rob Hughes (2-0, 0.43 ERA) on Saturday, and David Dunlavey (1-4, 6.33 ERA), a redshirt junior right-hander, in Sunday's finale.

Hughes pitched well (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) in his collegiate debut, a 2-1 loss at the College of Charleston last Saturday.  Dunlavey followed up Hughes' performance with a solid outing (7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K) in a 3-1 setback to the Cougars on Sunday.

The Paladins dropped a 12-7 verdict to South Carolina on Tuesday at Fluor Field in downtown Greenville. Three critical throwing errors by Furman's middle infielders led to seven unearned runs for the Gamecocks in the contest that saw the Paladins get home runs from Sterling Turmon, John Michael Boswell, and Dax Roper.

Boswell leads Furman at the plate, hitting .362 with four home runs and 15 RBI.

Samford swept Furman in three regular season games last year in Greenville and blanked the Paladins, 4-0, in SoCon Tournament play at Fluor Field.