Saturday, May 5, 2018

Catamounts shut down Paladins to even series

One night after scoring 13 runs over a span of five innings in the series opener against Western Carolina, Furman was shut down by a freshman with a 6.63 ERA Saturday. Chase Walter tossed a complete game to lead the Catamounts to their fifth win this season with a 2-1 victory over the Paladins at Latham Stadium.

Walter (2-6), who was allowing opponents to hit .312 entering Saturday, allowed one unearned run and four hits - all singles. The freshman, who had never gone more than seven innings this season, had two walks and eight strikeouts.

Walter got all the run support he needed in the first inning. After Furman turned a double play, Justin Sparks singled on an 0-2 pitch before Justice Bigbie homered on an 0-1 pitch to give WCU a 2-0 lead. All six runs the Catamounts have in this series have come with two out.

The Paladins (22-24, 7-10 Southern Conference) scored their lone run in the fourth inning. With runners on first and third, Walter faked a throw to third and turned back to first where Jabari Richards was picked off. Richards stayed in the rundown long enough for Brandon Elmy to try to score from third. Elmy made it thanks to an errant throw home by WCU (5-39, 3-17).

After Richards' single in the fourth, Furman didn't have another hit until Ben Anderson's two-out single in the eighth. Jason Costa followed with a single, but Walter got a strikeout to end the threat. Walter needed just six pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth to finish off the complete game.

The Paladins wasted one of starter Grant Schuermann's best performances of the season. Making his first start since April 14, Schuermann allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings. The junior left-hander had two walks and six strikeouts. Of Schuermann's 99 pitches, 73 went for strikes including his final 16 pitches.

The rubber game of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

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