GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Jabari Richards went 4-for-4, Carter Grote drove in five runs, and Furman broke out of its offensive slump in a big way in beating North Carolina A&T, 17-2, in the opening game of a three-game series Friday evening at Latham Stadium.
The win improved Furman to 9-7 on the season, halting a four-game losing streak. The Paladins banged out 15 hits in registering its highest run tally of the season.
North Carolina A&T falls to 9-7 with the loss.
Richards, last year's SoCon Freshman of the Year who entered the game with just two hits on the season, stroked a lead-off double in Furman's first turn at the plate and later scored on a throwing error to halt the Paladins' scoreless streak at 32 2/3 innings.
Grote rapped a two-run double and three-run triple to finish with a career five RBI.
The Paladins, who led 4-0 after two innings, didn't need much in the way of runs behind the start registered by junior right-hander Will Gaddis (2-2), the reigning SoCon Pitcher of the Year who hurled six frames of shutout, four-hit ball while striking out seven and lowering his season earned run average to 1.97.
Freshman Dillon Love went 3-for-5 and sored twice in his first start at second base, and Jake Crawford and Brandon Elmy both collected two hits and drove in two runs.
Furman blew the game open with back-to-back six-run tallies in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 16-0 lead.
The Paladins roughed up Aggie starting pitcher Marcello Betances for 10 runs on eight hits over the first four innings.
The two teams play game of the series Saturday at 4:00 p.m.