March 25, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Bobby Hubbard's two-out, two-run double in the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and lifted Furman to a 4-2 win over nationally 10th-ranked South Carolina in baseball action Tuesday evening in front of 4,589 fans at Sarge Frye Field.
Hubbard's decisive two-run double to right field off Gamecock reliever Curtis Johnson scored Marcus Rose and Joey Rodgers to cap a two-out bases empty rally for Furman (12-8), which claimed its fifth win over South Carolina (15-6) this decade. It also marked head coach Ron Smith's 12th victory over a Top-20 ranked opponent since 2001.
Paladin reliever Nick Karow came on with two outs in the eighth and struck out USC's Harley Lail with two runners on base and in the ninth pitched out of a bases loaded one-out jam by getting James Darnell on a line out to second base and Justin Smoak on a ground out to end the game. The save was the the third of the year for sophomore right-hander, who has allowed only one earned run in 15 innings of work this season.
Karow combined with winning pitcher Ian Parry (2-1) to turn in four innings of shutout relief and scatter six hits. The duo combined to strike out three and walk one. Parry tossed 2 2/3 innings after coming on to begin the sixth in place of starting pitcher Kevin Gaid, who was superb in his first collegiate start. Gaid, a sophomore right-hander who missed all of the 2007 season after undergoing an ulnar nerve transposition, allowed only two runs (one earned) on four hits over five innings. He struck out five and walked three.
The Paladins out-hit the Gamecocks 12-10 and were led at the plate by freshman designated hitter Reese Wade, who went 4-for-5 with an RBI to raise his season averge to .516. Matt Hemingway and Hubbard both went 2-for-4 for the Paladins, and freshman J.B. Jenkins, subbing for injured starting shortstop Connor Lind, collected his first collegiate hit with a single in the sixth.
Taking the loss was Gamecock reliever Craig Thomas (0-1).
The Paladins put runners on in every inning but the third and stranded a pair of runners in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh frames. Hubbard's big hit in the eighth came after Marcus Rose singled off Thomas with two outs. Thomas was then lifted, and Gamecock reliever Curtis Johnson promptly hit Joey Rodgers to bring Hubbard to the plate, and the Paladin senior stroked the two-run double to right field to put Furman ahead, 4-2.
South Carolina grabbed an early 1-0 lead on Reese Havens' leadoff home run to center field in the bottom of the first inning.
The Gamecocks tallied again in the third, scoring an unearned run. With one out, Havens walked and came around to score after Paladin third baseman Bobby Hubbard's throwing error on an infield single off the bat of James Darnell. With Darnell at third, Gaid intentionally walked Justin Smoak and got out of the inning with a groundout by Kyle Enders.
Furman tied the game with a pair of runs in the fourth, but the Paladins failed to capitalize on a chance for more. Campbell Lewis led off with a walk and Matt Hemingway delivered a single to right field. Jay Jackson followed with a sacrifice bunt that Gamecock third baseman James Darnell misplayed, allowing Lewis to score from second base. Reese Wade then stroked an RBI single into right field to plate Hemingway and give Furman runners at first and third with no outs. The Paladins, however, whiffed on the chance to grab the lead after Justin Holloway and J.B. Jenkins struck out, and Marcus Rose was retired on a fly ball to end the frame.
Furman returns to action on Friday when it opens a three-game Southern Conference series against Elon in a 7:00 p.m. game at Furman Stadium.