GREENVILLE, S.C. - Five different Furman batters homered and Ian Parry pitched eight strong innings as the Paladins defeated College of Charleston 11-3 Friday evening at Latham Stadium in Southern Conference action. The Cougars fall to 23-9 overall, 8-5 in the SoCon, while Furman improves to 10-20, 4-9.
Furman jumped on the board with a solo home run on the first pitch of the opening inning, as Will Owens hit his sixth home run of the year off Charleston starter Christian Powell (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood). Charleston knotted the score in the bottom of the inning on a round-tripper to right center by sophomore DH Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla./Broward College) on a 3-2 count.
The Paladins added three more runs in the second frame, with J.B. Jenkins swatting a solo home run to left center and Aaron Tompkins sending a 0-1 pitch over the fence right center for a two-run shot and a 4-1 Furman lead. Furman extended its lead with another run in the third on a sacrifice fly by Reese Wade.
Furman exploded for six runs in the fourth to pull ahead by an 11-1 margin. Owens led off with a double and after Powell retired Thompkins, Will Muzika blasted a two-run shot to left field for his ninth home run of the season. The following batter, Dylan Cole, reached on a fielding error by senior SS Joey Bergman (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) and Paul Nitto lined a single through the left side to put runners at first and second. Junior reliever Robert Jeroszko (Greenville, S.C./J.L. Mann) came in to spell Powell and Will Miller took the very first pitch over the wall in left for a three-run homer. The Paladins would manufacture another run in the frame as Wade would later score on a wild pitch after reaching on a single to center.
The Cougars tacked on two late runs in the ninth on a two-run home run by senior 1B Greg Blake (Westerly, R.I./Lake City CC), but the Furman lead too much to overcome. Blake finished the game with two hits for the Cougars.
Powell took the loss for CofC, allowing a season-high 11 hits and nine runs, eight earned, in 3.1 innings. Jereoszko scattered four hits in 4.2 innings, allowing two runs, one earned with three strikeouts. Junior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando) saw his 12-game hitting streak come to an end as the Cougars managed only five hits on the evening.
Parry scattered three hits in eight innings for Furman, striking out eight batter and walking two. Kevin Gottlieb surrendered the two-run shot to Blake in the ninth. Owens and Muzika each had three hits for the Paladins, who pounded out 15 on the evening.
The two team face off again tomorrow evening with first pitch set for 5:00 p.m.