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Furman To Play Host To ETSU In Weekend SoCon Series

John Michael Bertrand
John Michael Bertrand

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman's baseball team will play host to East Tennessee State in a three-game Southern Conference series beginning with Friday's 6:00 p.m. opener at Latham Stadium.

The Paladins (11-21, 4-5 SoCon) and Buccaneers (23-9, 4-2 SoCon) are scheduled to clash at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, and first pitch for Sunday's finale is set for 1:00 p.m.

Free pizza for Furman students and a baseball necklace giveaway are set for Friday's opener.  Saturday's contest will feature a visit from the Smokin' Pig Food Truck and Rita's Shaved Ice, as well as the National Anthem and iconic "Take Me Out The Ballgame" seventh inning stretch performed by Furman's acclaimed Bell Tower Boys.  Sunday will mark Wade Hampton Little League Day and conclude with kids' post-game run of the bases and player autographs.

Furman, which is coming off a 2-0 loss to 17th-ranked Clemson on Wednesday, is expected to send redshirt sophomore John Michael Bertrand (2-2, 4.14 ERA) to the mound on Friday, followed by freshman right-hander Rob Hughes (3-1, 4.81 ERA) on Saturday and redshirt junior right-hander David Dunlavey (2-6, 4.60 ERA) on Sunday.

Bertrand hurled a complete game in his last start, a 10-3 road triumph over UNCG in a suspended game that was completed on Saturday.  He allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out five in his second start since moving into the weekend rotation.

Hughes worked 5 2/3 innings in his last start before departing with a 9-5 lead against UNCG on Saturday.

Dunlavey, meanwhile, registered his fourth consecutive quality start on Sunday against the Spartans, surrendering just one run over eight innings before yielding the game winning run in the ninth in a 2-1 Paladin loss.  Supported by just two combined runs in three of his last four starts, the Spartanburg, S.C., product has posted a 2.63 ERA over that span.

East Tennessee dropped two of three games at VMI last weekend, and the Bucs fell to Virginia Tech, 4-2, in Wednesday action at home.

The Paladins and Bucs split four games a year ago with Furman winning the regular season series two games to one in Johnson City, Tenn., before falling, 5-2, in SoCon Tournament play at Fluor Field.

Furman has won seven of the last nine clashes with ETSU and leads the all-time series, 49-42.

All three games in the series will be live streamed over the SoCon Digital Network.  Fans can also follow the action via Furman's Stretch Audio feed with "The Voice Of The Furman Paladins" Dan Scott calling the action.  Links to video, audio, and StatBroadcast live stats are available thru FurmanPaladins.com.

@FurmanPaladins twitter feed is a good avenue for fans to receive timely game updates, as well as tweets regarding weather conditions affecting Paladin baseball.

Hunter Reid, Sports Information