After blowing a lead in the ninth to force extra innings at rival The Citadel on Saturday, Furman bounced back in a big way and claimed an 11-5 win in the first game of a doubleheader. With the assistance of Paladin miscues in the field, the Bulldogs came back with a 6-1 win in game two.
The doubleheader split leaves Furman (20-23, 5-9 Southern Conference) a game in front of Citadel (15-26, 4-10) for seventh place in the SoCon. The rubber game of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.
Furman 11, Citadel 5, 10 inn.
Furman took an early 3-0 lead in Saturday's opener before Citadel came back with three unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game. The Bulldogs had two on with two out in the fifth when Grant Schuermann came on in relief of Furman starter Nik Verbeke. Schuermann got a strikeout to keep the score tied 3-3.
In the sixth, the Paladins scored a pair of unearned runs to take a 5-3 lead. Schuermann then got inning-ending double plays in the sixth, seventh and eighth as Furman clung to the two-run lead. Citadel's ninth-place hitter Chris Martin, who was batting .189 entering Saturday, delivered a two-single in the ninth to tie the game. Schuermann induced yet another inning-ending double play to force extra innings.
The Paladins responded with a six-run 10th inning in which 10 batters came to the plate. Ben Anderson's bases-loaded walk snapped the tie before Brandon Elmy delivered a two-run single with two outs. Jabari Richards capped the inning with a three-run triple.
Elmy and Jason Costa, who belted his seventh home run early Saturday, had three hits apiece to lead Furman's 15-hit attack.
Citadel 6, Furman 1
In the nightcap, the Paladins committed four of their five errors over the first three innings. That helped Citadel take an early 5-0 lead and the Bulldogs got a complete game effort out of starter Thomas Byelick.
Byelick, who entered Saturday with an ERA of 5.26, allowed just one unearned run on Saturday to earn his first win of the season. Byelick (1-6) allowed six hits and six walks as Furman stranded 11 base runners. Byelick had seven strikeouts in the 141-pitch effort.
Furman starter John Michael Bertrand also worked a complete game as he scattered nine hits over eight innings. Of the six runs Bertrand (4-2) allowed, only two were earned. He had three walks and two strikeouts.
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