Baseball

 
March 3, 2013

Furman Whips Elon, 10-6, Claims Series

ELON, N.C. -- Jake Wolff pitched five strong innings and Alex Abrams went 4-for-5 and drove in a pair of runs to lead Furman past Elon, 10-6, in Southern Conference Sunday afternoon baseball action at Latham Park.

The win gave Furman (8-3, 2-1 SoCon) the series two games to one and marked the Paladins' second straight series win over Elon (5-5, 1-2 SoCon).

Wolff (2-0), a sophomore right-hander from Mountain Rest and product of Walhalla High School, allowed only a run on three hits over five frames and recorded 11 strikeouts — the most by a Paladin pitcher since Jay Jackson fanned 11 against Western Carolina in 2008 — to earn the victory.

Wolff departed with a 5-1 lead, and the Paladins led 7-1 after six and half innings before Elon struck for five runs in the bottom of seventh to make it a 7-6 game.  Furman, however, scored three runs in the top of the ninth and used superb relief pitching from Mauldin, S.C., senior right-hander Ben Carlson, who tossed shutout ball over the final 2 2/3 innings, to earn the save and secure the victory.

Abrams' four-hit performance headlined Furman's 17-hit attack, which also included 2-for-5, three-RBI displays by Jarrod Rickman and Jordan SimpsonWill Muzika, Hunter Burton, and Taylor Johnson had two hits, as did freshman Griffin Davis, who went 2-for-3 and scored two runs in his first collegiate start in left field.

Leading 2-1 after two innings, the Paladins used a sacrifice fly from Paul Nitto and Abrams two-run double in the fourth to take a 5-1 lead.

Furman made it 7-1 in the seventh on a Rickman RBI single and ground out by Simpson that plated  Davis.

Elon rallied for five runs in the bottom on the inning, bunching five hits with an error and a wild pitch to slice Furman's lead to 7-6.  Two-run doubles by Danny Lynch and Wil Leathers were the big blows, but Elon's bid to tie the game stalled after Carlson was summoned from the bullpen in relief of Tyler Wood and proceeded to strike out Nick Bruno and get Sebastian Gomez on a groundout to strand Leathers at second base.

Carlson pitched a scoreless eighth, and the Paladins provided insurance with three runs in the ninth on a Rickman RBI double down the left field line, a Simpson double to right center field, and Johnson single that scored Simpson.

Furman's big day offensively came at the expense of Elon starter David Whitehead, who was roughed up for seven runs, though only four were earned, on 13 hits, and Phoenix relievers John Antonelli and Nate Young, who surrendered three runs on three hits in the ninth.

Furman will play Coastal Carolina at Pelican Park in Myrtle Beach on Tuesday and Wednesday.  First pitch for both games is set for 4:00 p.m.