Sunday, May 6, 2018

Catamounts shut down Paladins to win series

For the second consecutive day, a Western Carolina starting pitcher doubled his win total for the season by silencing Furman. Junior left-hander Taylor Purus took a shutout into the ninth inning to power the Catamounts to a 5-2 win over the Paladins.

Sunday's win gave WCU (6-39, 4-17 Southern Conference) its first series win - and first back-to-back wins - of the season.

Purus (2-10), who had an 8.38 ERA entering Sunday, didn't allow a run until he gave up Deon Sanders' pinch-hit, two-run home run with one out in the ninth. Zach Franklin came on in relief and got the final two outs to wrap up the Catamounts' win. Purus scattered six hits and four walks over his 8 1/3 innings and had seven strikeouts.

After scoring 13 runs on 18 hits in the series opener Friday, the Paladins managed just one unearned run and nine hits - all singles - over the next 17 1/3 innings. Furman (22-25, 7-11) failed to score over the first four innings Sunday despite having the leadoff batter reach in each of those frames. The Paladins stranded nine baserunners for the game.

Western Carolina got all the runs necessary in a three-run third inning in which eight men batted. Justice Bigbie had three hits and an RBI, while Tristan Baker went 2-for-2 to lead the Catamounts.

Jake Crawford went 2-for-2 to lead Furman, but left the game with an injury after throwing a pitch in the ninth.

Furman, which is in seventh place in the SoCon - one game ahead of The Citadel and two back of ETSU, returns to action next weekend for a series at ETSU. Game one's first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday.


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