Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Paladins fall short against Winthrop

Furman freshman Ben Anderson had three hits in the Paladins'
5-4 loss to Winthrop Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Furman.
Furman collected some big hits down the stretch Tuesday, but couldn't get the biggest it needed. The Winthrop allowed one run in the eighth and two more in the ninth but held on for a 5-4 win over the Paladins at Latham Stadium.

Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Furman started the inning with consecutive singles by Dillon Love, Ben Anderson, Jason Costa and Jared Mihalik. The singles by Costa and Mihalik each scored runs to cut the lead to 5-4.

That brought up cleanup hitter Jake Crawford, who entered Tuesday batting .304 with no sacrifices. The Paladins (16-17) appeared to have loaded the bases when Crawford swung away after showing bunt and hit a slow dribbler that he beat out. However, the umpires correctly ruled that it was foul ball off of Crawford. Winthrop reliever Dalton Whitaker got Crawford to miss on a 1-2 bunt attempt for the first out. Whitaker then induced groundballs from Deon Sanders and Landon Kay to end the threat and pick up his first save.

Bret Huebner's RBI-single gave Furman a 1-0 lead in the second.

It remained 1-0 until the fifth when Paladin starter John Michael Bertrand made his only mistake of the night. After getting the first two outs of the inning, Bertrand gave up singles to Winthrop leadoff man Jake Sullivan and Brandon Fite. Mitch Spires then launched a three-run home run to left that just got out over the outstretched arm of Mihalik.

The Eagles added single runs in the seventh and eighth before Kay hit a line drive rocket to left for his first home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead to 5-2.

Bertrand (3-1) allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings for his first loss of the season. He had no walks and one strikeout. Winthrop starter Jason Crumley, a former Travelers Rest High standout, had one run on four hits in four innings for the win. He had no walks and five strikeouts.

Anderson and Kay each went 3-for-5 to lead Furman. Costa and Mihalik, who saw his four-game homer streak end, added two hits apiece. Sullivan led Winthrop with three hits.

Furman returns to action this weekend at home against Wofford. Game 1 of the three-game series is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m.

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