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Furman To Face ETSU In Final Road Series Of 2018

Nik Verbeke
Nik Verbeke

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman's baseball team plays its final road series of 2018 season this weekend when it travels to Johnson City, Tenn., to face East Tennessee State in a three-game set beginning with Friday's 6:30 p.m. contest at Thomas Stadium.

The Paladins (22-25, 7-11 SoCon) and Buccaneers (25-19, 9-9 SoCon) play Saturday at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday's finale is set for 1:00 p.m.

Furman heads into the series in seventh place in the SoCon standings, a game up on The Citadel but with the tiebreaker in hand by virtue of a series win over the Bulldogs two weeks ago in Charleston.  The Paladins stumbled last weekend at home, suffering a series loss to last place Western Carolina at Latham Stadium.

ETSU dropped two of three games at home to The Citadel last weekend before rebounding to down Marshall, 8-2, on Wednesday.  The Bucs are currently in fifth place in the league standings, a half game up on sixth place Mercer.

The Paladins have beaten the Bucs five straight times, including wins in SoCon Tournament play in both 2016 and '17 and a three-game regular season series sweep last year in Greenville.  Two years ago the Bucs took two of the three meetings at Thomas Stadium.  Furman leads the all-time series, 47-40.

Furman's weekend rotation will consist of junior right-hander Nik Verbeke (5-.3, 4.45 ERA), who has registered recent Friday night wins against Wofford and Western Carolina.  Senior left-hander Grant Schuermann (3-7, 4.96 ERA) will take the mound on Saturday, and redshirt freshman left-hander John Michael Bertrand (4-3, 4.73 ERA) is scheduled to toe the rubber on Sunday.

The Paladins are paced offensively in just about every category by freshman outfielder Ben Anderson (.376, 3 HR, 35 RB).  In addition to topping the squad in batting average and RBI, the LaGrange, Ga., product leads Furman in runs (46), hits (68), triples (6), total bases (100), slugging percentage (.552), walks (34), and on base percentage (.480).

Senior designated hitter Jason Costa (.305, 7 HR, 33 RBI) and senior first baseman Brandon Elmy (.291, 7 HR, 33 RBI) have identical home run and RBI totals.

All three games will be live streamed over the SoCon Digital Network.  Furman's audio stream sporting the play-by-play call of the "Voice of the Paladins" Dan Scott will also be available via Stretch Audio thru and over WPLS 96.5 FM.  Fans can also follow the action via ETSU-provided live stats and receive updates via Furman @FurmanBaseball.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information