Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Clemson hands Furman baseball first loss

Jabari Richards had two hits in Furman's 12-4 loss
at Clemson Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Furman.
Clemson used a four-run fifth inning to snap a 1-1 tie and went on to a 12-4 win Tuesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Chris Williams went 2-for-4 with a career-high six RBIs to lead the 11th-ranked Tigers (4-0) to the win.

After Clemson took a 1-0 lead in the third, Furman responded in the fourth. Jabari Richards led off with an infield single and scored when Jason Costa followed with a double to left. The Paladins (3-1) looked to have taken a 3-1 lead when Brandon Elmy followed with a shot to straightaway centerfield, but Clemson's Bryce Teodosio robbed Elmy with a leaping grab over the wall.

It was still tied in the fifth when Williams hammered a three-run homer and Teodosio later added an RBI-single to give Clemson a 5-1 lead. The Tigers added to their lead with a pair of two-out RBIs in the sixth and put the game out of reach with a five-run seventh.

Patrick Cromwell went 3-for-4 to lead Clemson's 13-hit effort. The top five batters in the Tigers' order went 11-for-19 with 11 runs scored and 10 RBIs. Clemson's Ryan Miller (1-0) got the win with three hitless innings of relief.

Richards and Costa each had two hits for Furman, which tallied six hits as a team. Costa finished with two RBIs. Nik Verbeke (1-1) gave up four runs on two hits and three walks in 1/3 of an inning to take the loss.

This tough early stretch of the schedule continues this weekend as the Paladins travel to N.C. State. First pitch for Friday's opening game of the three-game series is set for 3 p.m.

Crawford honored
Jake Crawford was honored as the Southern Conference Player of the Week for his showing in Furman's season-opening sweep of reigning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Marist.

Crawford went 7-for-9 (.778) in two games at the plate over the weekend, with a double, a homer, three RBIs and five runs scored. In between manning third base on Friday and Sunday, Crawford got the pitching start for the Paladins on Saturday. In four innings of work, the former Belton-Honea Path High standout allowed one earned run and tallied a career-high eight strikeouts.

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