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Schuermann, Furman Scuttle ETSU, 6-5

Furman beat ETSU, 6-5, on Saturday.

JOHNSON CITY, TENN. -- Grant Schuermann hurled a complete game and Jabari Richards and Jason Costa both homered to help Furman claim a 6-5 victory over East Tennessee State in Southern Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.

The win by Furman (23-26, 8-12 SoCon) evened the series at a game apiece heading into Sunday's 1:00 p.m. series finale.

The complete game was the second by Furman this season but the first in a victory, and it marked the fourth career route job for Schuermann (4-7), who last went the distance in a 3-2 road triumph over Samford in 2017.

The Paladin senior left-hander sported a 6-2 lead with two outs in the ninth before Christian Bailey stroked a three-run double off the wall in right field to pull East Tennessee State (26-20, 10-10 SoCon) to within 6-5. Schuermann responded by retiring Ben Jackson on a infield pop to end the game.

The Cincinnati, Ohio, product commanded the Bucs for all but two frames, allowing a pair of runs on four hits in the seventh and yielding three, two-out runs in the ninth.  He scattered 13 hits, matched a career high with eight strikeouts, and did not issue a walk.

Jason Costa's two-out solo home run in the top of the ninth, his second of the series and team leading ninth clout of the season, proved to be the game winning run for the Paladins, who struck early with a Jabari Richards solo blast in the first.  Furman tacked on four more in the second against ETSU starting pitcher Ryan Simpler, registering five hits, including RBI singles from Logan Taplett and Ben Anderson, an RBI double by Bret Huebner, and an RBI sacrifice bunt off the bat of Sims Griffith.

Schuermann helped maintain the 5-0 lead by retiring the Bucs in order in the fourth and fifth before later running into trouble in the seventh when he surrendered a pair of runs before escaping further damage with an inning ending double play.

Five Paladins -- Anderson, Costa, Huebner, Landon Kay, and Logan Taplett -- led Furman's 13-hit effort with two-hit performances. 

ETSU also had five players post two-hit afternoons.

Simpler (5-6) was charged with the loss.  He allowed five of Furman's runs and 12 of the Paladins' 13 hits while walking three and striking out three.

Costa's ninth inning solo home run came off Bucs' reliever Dominick Steffanacci.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information