Saturday, February 17, 2018

Paladins hang on, clinch opening series

Jason Costa went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead Furman to a
5-4 win over Marist Saturday. Photo courtesy of Furman.
A trio of Furman pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts and the Paladins overcame three errors in a 5-4 win over Marist Saturday at Latham Stadium. Furman (2-0) will try to complete the sweep of the season-opening series Sunday at 1 p.m.

For the second day in a row, the Paladins trailed 2-1 early before putting up a four-spot to take the lead for good. On Saturday, it came in the fourth inning.

After getting Furman on the board with an RBI-single in the second, freshman Ben Anderson began the fourth-inning rally with a two-out single. Jabari Richards had an infield single before Jason Costa hit a two-run double to left giving Furman a 3-2 lead. After a Brandon Elmy walk, John Michael Boswell greeted Marist reliever Mike Coss with a double to left that scored Costa and Elmy.

The Red Foxes (0-2) got single runs in the fifth and eighth to pull within one. Furman sophomore reliever Johnathan Mouw struck out the first two Marist batters in the ninth. After a walk, Mouw got a grounder to first to complete his first collegiate save.

Mouw, who was making his collegiate debut after being sidelined by injuries each of the past two seasons, worked two scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts. Nik Verbeke (1-0) allowed two runs, one earned, in three innings of relief to collect the win. He had one walk and three strikeouts. Furman starter Jake Crawford gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits in four innings. Crawford had three walks and a career-high eight strikeouts.

Costa and Anderson each finished with two hits to lead the Paladins, who had seven hits for the game.

Marist starter Charlie Jerla, the reigning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year, allowed one run on two hits in 2 1/3 innings. He had four walks, hit a batter and struck out two. Tyler Dearden (0-1) gave up four runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings to take the loss.

Andrew Rouse went 2-for-3 with two runs scored to lead the Red Foxes offensively.

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