GREENVILLE, S.C.. -- Furman's baseball team will make its final regular season appearance at Fluor Field on Tuesday when it plays host to South Carolina in a 7:00 p.m. contest that will highlight the University's "Dins Day" 24-hour celebration of all things Furman, as well as the dedication of the new "Furman On Deck" Picnic Pavilion at the ballpark.
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the "Furman On Deck" Picnic Pavilion are slated for 5:30 p.m. and will include remarks by director of athletics Mike Buddie, Greenville Drive owner and president Craig Brown, and Furman Provost George Shields.
The Paladins (19-21), who claimed a 6-4 win over the Gamecocks (23-17) in Columbia on Feb. 27, are coming off a 19-1, seven-inning run-rule victory over VMI on Sunday in Lexington, Va.
South Carolina beat 19th-ranked LSU, 8-6, on Sunday in Columbia to complete at three-game series sweep of their Southeastern Conference rival.
Furman is 1-2 at Fluor Field this year, owning a win over Michigan State (3-2) and losses to Illinois (14-5) and Clemson (10-5). The Paladins are 28-44 all-time in the facility and 3-7 versus South Carolina. Furman and South Carolina played the first collegiate contest in then-new Fluor Field on May 16, 2006 (15-12 South Carolina win).
Junior right-hander Jake Crawford (1-1, 7.80 ERA), Furman's regular third baseman (.268, 4 HR, 22 RBI), will toe the rubber for the Paladins in what will be his third start of the season, but first since Feb. 24 against N.C. State. The Honea Path, S.C., product has collected a win and two saves in his last three appearances — all in relief. He owns 13 starts in his career, with 11 coming in his first two seasons as a Paladin.
South Carolina will counter with freshman right-hander Carmen Mlodzinski (1-4, 3.47 ERA) from Hilton Head, S.C.
The Paladins played four high scoring affairs last week, claiming a 15-12 verdict at Gardner-Webb on Wednesday and Sunday's 19-1 rout of VMI, which sandwiched back-to-back 12-1 and 13-7 losses to the Keydets.
After weekend starting pitchers Grant Schuermann and Matt Lazzaro were forced to skip their regular starts against VMI for precautionary reasons after both exited starts early in a doubleheader versus Wofford on Apr. 14, Furman had to go shopping in its bullpen for replacements, and stepping up were a pair of freshmen — right-hander Jordan Beatson and left-hander John Michael Bertrand. While Beatson pitched well for four innings before running into trouble in the fifth in his collegiate starting debut on Saturday, Bertrand surrendered only one run over five frames in the 19-1 blowout win that saw the Paladins pound out a season high 22 hits.
The changing roles in Furman's pitching staff due to injuries has temporarily deprived the Paladins of Beatson's ability as a reliever and Bertrand's original role as a mid-week starter.
Hitting .279 as a team, Furman is paced at the plate by freshman center fielder Ben Anderson (.386, 3 HR, 29 RBI), who also tops the squad in runs (40), hits (61), triples (5), slugging percentage (.570) and on-base percentage (.473). The LaGrange, Ga., product also has a team best 19 multi-hit games, including eight in his last 11 games (22x47, .468).
Senior first baseman Brandon Elmy (.270, 7 HR, 27 RBI) homered twice in the VMI series to give him 25 for his career, moving him into a tie for 10th place in Furma history.
The Paladins have homered 33 times this year after hitting 69 route jobs in 61 games a year ago.
The game will be live streamed over the SoCon Digital Network (SDN), in addition to being presented via Stretch Audio, with the "Voice of the Paladins" Dan Scott on the call. Links to SDN video, audio stream, and StatBroadcast live stats are available thru FurmanPaladins.com.
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information