Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Paladins outslug Gardner-Webb

Logan Taplett had three hits and three RBIs to help Furman defeat
Gardner-Webb 15-12 Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Furman.
After getting shut out at Gardner-Webb last April, Furman came back with a 27-10 home win over the Runnin' Bulldogs last May. On Wednesday night at Gardner-Webb, the Paladins picked up where they left off in May. All nine Furman starters had at least one hit, eight had at least one run, and seven had at least one RBI as the Paladins held on for a 15-12 win.

Furman (18-19) took a 3-0 lead in the second when the bottom half of the lineup started a two-out rally. Bret Huebner had an RBI-single and Sims Griffith followed with a two-run single. Gardner-Webb (21-18) answered in the bottom half sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six runs.

The Paladins trailed 8-4 before scoring three runs in the fifth. Logan Taplett provided the big hit with a two-run single.

An inning later, Furman put up its biggest number of the night. Jared Mihalik's two-run double gave the Paladins a 9-8 lead. One out later, Brandon Elmy had an RBI-single which was followed by a Landon Kay RBI-single, a Taplett RBI-double, a Huebner RBI-single. Taplett scored on a wild pitch to cap the seven-run inning staking the Paladins to a 14-8 lead.

The Paladins didn't get to enjoy their cushy lead for long. The Bulldogs opened the bottom of the sixth with three consecutive singles, followed by back-to-back doubles to cut the lead to 14-12. Furman reliever Heath Hawkins got a pair of groundouts and a foul pop to get out of the inning with a two-run lead.

Hawkins worked around a one-out walk in the seventh by striking out the side. Tyler Kimbrell came on and allowed just one single and no walks over the final two innings for his fifth save. Kimbrell had three strikeouts. Austin Wood (1-0) gave up two runs on three hits in 3 2/3 innings of relief to collect his first collegiate win. Wood had two walks and three strikeouts.

Taplett went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Huebner also had three hits to lead Furman's season-high 18-hit performance. Taplett is 9-for-16 over his last four games to raise his season average to .292. The teams combined for 31 hits with no home runs.

Next up for Furman is a road trip to VMI. The opener of the three-game series is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m.

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