ROCK HILL, SC — Furman utilized the long ball to help power the Paladins to a 6-1 win over Winthrop Wednesday night at Latham Baseball Stadium in Greenville, SC.
Furman’s Taylor Johnson and Greg Harrison led the way offensively for the Paladins combining for five hits, five RBI’s, and three runs scored. Johnson and Harrison gave the Paladins an early lead with home runs over the left field fence while the Furman pitching staff limited the Winthrop offense to just five hits in the game. Winthrop threatened in the sixth when the Eagles got on the board on an RBI single from Chad Smith, however, the Paladin bullpen managed to quiet the Eagles’ rally and secure the 6-1 victory for Furman.
Wednesday’s loss evens the season series with Furman at 1-1 and drops Winthrop to 15-30 on the season while the Paladins improve their record to 23-18. Winthrop looks to get back into the win column against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (17-24) who travel to Rock Hill for a Big South weekend series in the final home stand for the Eagles this season. Games are currently scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Friday, 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Friday night’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
Harrison got Furman on the board in the second inning with a leadoff solo shot over the left field fence off Eagles’ starter Tyler Klitsch (1-9) to give the Paladins an early 1-0 lead. With a runner on and one out in the third, Furman added to its lead when Johnson blasted the first pitch he saw from reliever Mitchell Knox over the left field wall for a two-run home run extending the lead to 3-0. With the three-run lead in the fifth, Harrison continued his big day at the plate with a two-run double to the right-center gap bringing Will Muzika and Johnson around to score putting the Paladins up 5-0.
Winthrop got on the scoreboard in the sixth with Smith’s two-out RBI single to left field scoring Leighton Daniels from second who had doubled to lead off the inning. The Paladins, however, got that run back in the bottom half of the inning on Hunter Burton’s sacrifice fly to right field scoring Chris Ohmstede from third to up Furman’s lead to 6-1.
The Paladin pitching staff continued to keep the Winthrop offense at bay as the Eagles stranded nine base runners in the game were held scoreless in the final three innings of play. Furman’s closer Matt Solter was called upon in the ninth to wrap up the 6-1 win for the Paladins.
With his double in the eighth, Winthrop outfielder Cody Dolan has now reached base in nine straight games. Dolan had reached base safely in 14 straight games (team high) earlier this season. After getting the start yesterday against Wofford, Sam Kmiec was called upon out of the bullpen for the Eagles and threw two strong innings allowing just one run and no hits. Right-handers Joey Strain and Eric Ruth followed Kmiec on the mound each tossing an inning of scoreless relief. Ruth managed to strike out the side in the eighth lowering his ERA to 0.30 on the season.