|Jabari Richards had two hits and two RBIs in Furman's 10-5 loss|
to Clemson Tuesday at Fluor Field. Photo courtesy of Furman.
"I'm just disappointed overall because that should've been a one-run, or even a tie, game in the ninth," Furman coach Brett Harker said. "I hurt for our boys because I know how bad they want it. ... We're playing Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so we've got to have a short memory but come out that much hungrier."
Furman trailed 2-0 when starter Trent Alley retired the first two Tigers in the top of the fourth. But Clemson's next six batters reached base. With the Paladins trailing 4-0, John Michael Bertrand came on in relief and got a groundball that should've ended the inning. However an error loaded the bases for Beer, who hammered a 1-0 pitch over the right-centerfield wall to make it 8-0.
The Paladins got on the scoreboard in the fifth. After an RBI-single by Jake Crawford, Sims Griffith came home on a passed ball. Jason Costa capped the three-run inning with an RBI-double.
Furman inched closer an inning later as Jabari Richards' two-run double cut the lead to 8-5. The Paladins loaded the bases with nobody out, but got no closer. After Crawford struck out, Costa hit a line drive up the middle that Clemson second baseman Jordan Greene made a great play on to begin an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
"The game came down to they made a big play with the bases loaded and we didn't," Harker said. "Obviously, Beer is as good as anybody in the country.
"I'm proud of the way we came back and battled and didn't roll over. At the same time, we've got to learn how to win these games against the Tigers. Until then, we'll just continue to be the little brother that don't get a whole lot of respect."
Chris Williams capped the scoring in the top of the seventh with a two-run homer. Beer was the lone Tiger with multiple hits as he went 3-for-3 with five RBIs. Clemson leadoff man Logan Davidson reached base in each of his five trips to the plate with a double and four walks.
Crawford, Costa, Brandon Elmy and Richards each had two hits to lead Furman, while leadoff man Ben Anderson drew three walks.
Travis Marr (2-0) tossed two scoreless innings of relief to get the win. Alley allowed six runs, three earned, on six hits in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss.
Next up for the Paladins is the opening series of Southern Conference play at home against Samford. First pitch of Thursday's Game 1 is scheduled for 6 p.m.
"I feel pretty good about our guys. I don't know if anybody has ever said that on a five-game losing streak, but I feel like we've seen all different types of arms and velocities and we should be very prepared for the Southern Conference," Harker said. "I think tonight was the best we've swung it in a awhile. We've got to clean up some things defensively, but I feel good about our starting pitching on the weekend as well.
"The reason we've had this challenging start was to prepare for the SoCon."