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Furman To Open Weekend Baseball Series Friday Versus Wofford

Ben Anderson
Ben Anderson

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman's baseball team continues its Southern Conference schedule this weekend when it plays host to Wofford in a three-game series at Latham Stadium beginning with Friday's 5:00 p.m. opener.

Schedule Update: The Paladins and Terriers will now play a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. due to expected inclement weather on Sunday.  Saturday' 1:00 p.m. game will be televised by WMYA "My40".

All three games in the series will be presented over Stretch Audio, with the "Voice of the Paladins" Dan Scott on the call, as well as video live streamed via the SoCon Digital Network (SDN).  Links to SDN video, audio stream, and StatBroadcast live stats are available thru FurmanPaladins.com.

Furman (16-17, 2-4 SoCon) is looking to extend momentum gained in its road series win over previous SoCon front runner Mercer last weekend.  The Paladins took the series by knocking off the Bears, 12-9 in Friday's opener and winning the first game of a Sunday twinbill, 7-6.  Furman fell in the series finale, 3-2, on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Paladins dropped a 5-4 verdict to Winthrop in Tuesday action, coming up short with two-run ninth inning rally.

Wofford (23-11, 4-2 SoCon) opened league play by dropping two of three at Mercer before sweeping Western Carolina two weeks ago in Spartanburg.  The Terriers downed Presbyterian, 3-2, in Clinton on Wednesday.

Furman's starting rotation for the series will consist of redshirt junior right-hander Nik Verbeke (3-2, 5.54 ERA) on Friday, followed by freshman left-hander Matt Lazzaro (3-4, 5.36 ERA) and senior left-hander Grant Schuermann (2-5, 4.85 ERA) in Saturday's twinbill.

Lazzaro earned the victory after working six innings and surrendering two runs on seven hits and striking out three in Sunday's series clinching win over the Bears, who had entered the series having won six straight and 13 of their last 14 games.

Schuermann, meanwhile, fashioned his best outing of the season in Sunday's series finale against Mercer, allowing just runs, one earned, on six hits over eight innings.  He struck out six and did not walk a batter in the no-decision.

The Paladins are paced offensively by freshman center fielder Ben Anderson (.366, 3 HR, 24 RBI), senior catcher Jason Costa (.340, 5 HR, 25 RBI), and freshman designated hitter/left fielder Jared Mihalik (.317, 4 HR, 10 RBI), the reigning SoCon Player of the Week who hit home runs in four consecutive games last week after being inserted into the starting lineup.

Wofford ranks third nationally in stolen bases (93) while Furman has thrown out just 10 of 64 attempted base stealers this season.

The Terriers took two of three from the Paladins last year in Spartanburg, but Furman rebounded to take out Wofford in SoCon Tournament first round action with a 13-3, seven-inning (run rule) victory.

The two schools have met 209 times over the years with Furman holding a 127-79-3 lead in the all-time series.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information