|Jake Crawford went 3-for-4 with an RBI in Furman's 4-3|
loss to Samford Thursday. Photo courtesy of Furman.
Jabari Richards staked Furman to an early lead with two-run triple with two out in the second. The Paladins added a run an inning later on Jake Crawford's RBI-single. That made it 3-0, but Furman was shut out over the final six innings.
Furman starter Nik Verbeke blanked the Bulldogs over the first five innings. Samford trailed 3-1 with one out in the seventh when the Bulldogs' Ayrton Shafer singled and Taylor Garris doubled to chase Verbeke. Samford got a sac fly from No. 9 hitter Sam Teague and an RBI-single from Branden Fryman off reliever Heath Hawkins to tie the game 3-3.
After Samford put runners on second and third to start the eighth, Tyler Kimbrell came on in relief of Hawkins. Kimbrell got a popup for the first out, but Samford's Max Pinto followed with a single to left to snap the 3-3 tie. The Bulldogs (13-14, 2-2) looked to add more with a potential sac fly, but Furman leftfielder David Webel threw the runner out at home for an inning-ending 7-2 double play.
The Paladins got leadoff singles in the eighth and ninth, but stranded the runner both times. Samford standout reliever Wyatt Burns struck out each batter of the Paladins' top third of the lineup swinging to end the game. Burns (2-1) allowed no runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings to earn the win. He had no walks and six strikeouts. Hawkins (0-1) took the loss.
Jake Crawford went 3-for-4 to lead Furman, while Jason Costa and Brandon Elmy also had two hits apiece. Brooks Carlson was 3-for-3 to lead the Bulldogs.
It was another power outage offensively for the Paladins, who have a total of five extra-base hits during the six-game skid. Furman has gone 62 innings without a home run, the last coming on Ben Anderson's leadoff shot against Harvard on March 17.
Game 2 of the three-game series is scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m.