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Furman Nips Belmont In Series Opener, 6-5

Jabari Richards
Jabari Richards

NASHVILLE, TENN. -- Brandon Elmy's double in the top of the ninth inning scored Sky Overton from first base to break a tie and lift Furman to a 6-5 victory over Belmont in the opening game of a three-game series Friday evening at E.S. Rose Park.

Furman (28-25), which trailed 3-0 until the sixth inning before Jabari Richards' three-run home run highlighted a five-run Paladin frame, won its first game in 23 tries when tied or trailing after eight innings.

The two teams play game two of the series at 6:00 p.m. ET tomorrow.

With the score tied 5-5, Sky Overton served a no-ball, two-strike pitch into the right field to open the ninth, and Elmy followed by drilling the third pitch he saw from Bruin reliever and losing pitcher Brennan Washington (3-2) into the right field corner.  Overton, who was running on the pitch, scored easily from first base to give the Paladins in the 6-5 lead.

Heath Hawkins came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth and struck out the first two batters he faced.  After yielding a two-out single, he retired Logan Jarvis on a ground ball to second base to end the game and notch his second save of the season.

Nolan Mullen (1-1), who entered the game with two outs in the eighth, was credited with the win despite not retiring a batter, benefiting from Paladin catcher Cameron Whitehead, who threw out Belmont's Chas Hadden at second base on steal attempt to end the inning.

Furman fell behind 1-0 in the third when Clay Payne drilled a pitch from Paladin starter Jake Crawford over the left field fend.

The Bruins scored two more in the fourth on a Hunter Holland two-run single to make it 3-0.

In remained that way until the sixth when Landon Kay and Cameron Whitehead drew back-to-back walks, advanced on wild pitches, and then scored on back-to-back RBI bunt singles by Sims Griffith and Bret Huebner.  Richards capped the five-run rally with an opposite field, three-run home run to right field.

Crawford's five innings of work was his longest outing of the season.  He allowed three runs, all earned, on four hits, walked two, and struck out four.

Belmont starter Tyler Vaughn pitched five innings of shutout ball before giving way to Zach Hodgkiss, who couldn't record an out in the sixth, allowing three runs, a hit, and two walks.

Furman out-hit Belmont 14-9, led by Richards' 3-for-5 performance.  His home run was his sixth of the campaign.

Overton, Elmy, Kay, and Griffith had two hits apiece.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information