GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Sims Griffith belted a two-run sixth inning home run and Logan Taplett drove in a pair of runs to key Furman to a 4-3 victory over Wofford in the opening game of a Southern Conference baseball series Friday afternoon at Latham Stadium.
The win improves Furman to 17-17 overall and 4-3 in SoCon play while Wofford falls to 23-12 and 3-4 in league action. The two teams will play a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m., with the first game of the twinbill to be televised by WMYA "My40."
With the score tied 1-1, the Paladins took advantage of a one-out throwing error to strike for three runs in the sixth. After Landon Kay reached on the error and stole second, Taplett bounced a two-out single into center field to score Kay, and Griffith followed with a two-run home run, his second of the season, that cleared the wall in left center field to give the Paladins a 4-1 lead.
Wofford threatened in the seventh against Paladin reliver Tyler Kimbrell, getting three consecutive singles to load the bases with one out, but the Terriers failed to cash in when Andrew Orzel's foul fly in right field was gloved by a charging Kay, who fired a strike to home plate to nail Colin Davis attempting to score.
Wofford pulled to within 4-3 with a pair of runs in the eighth before Jake Crawford preserved the one-run lead by striking out McClain Bradley, stranding runners at second and third.
In the ninth Crawford hit Orzel with a pitch with one out but bounced back to get Brett Rodriguez on a game inning double play. It was his second save of the season.
The game's starting pitchers, Furman's Nik Verbeke (4-2) and Wofford's Adam Scott (5-3), were effective, with Verbeke going six innings and allowing one run on six hits to earn the victory. He struck out five and issued a pair of walks. Scott, meanwhile, absorbed the loss but went the distance for the Terriers, yielding four runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits while fanning 11.
Verbeke, the recipient of the Paladins' three-run sixth, pitched his way out of trouble in the third, striking out Mack Nathanson to strand a pair of runners, and again the fourth when he worked around runners at second and third with no outs by getting Miller on a weak ground ball to first base and striking out Lawson Hill and Alex Malsch to end the threat with the bases loaded.
Taplett's two-out RBI single in the fourth tied the game at 1-1.
Furman finished with seven hits while Wofford had 13 hits, including a 3-for-5 performance by Bradley.
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information