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Furman Drops Season Opener To Morehead State, 6-3

Rob Hughes Buy Now
Rob Hughes

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Dalton Stambaugh pitched five effective innings and Alex Gambrick followed with four strong frames of relief to help Morehead State beat Furman, 6-3, in the 2019 season opener for both teams Friday afternoon at Latham Stadium.

The Paladins (0-1) and Eagles (1-0) will play game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

Trailing 2-1 after four innings, Morehead State plated a pair of fifth inning runs to take the lead for good, touching up Paladin reliever Jordan Beatson with a one-out single and double to set up an RBI infield grounder by Jake Hammon and a Bryce Hammon sacrifice fly.

The Eagles, who last year won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament and played in the NCAA Tournament, followed with two more runs in the sixth on a Hunter Fain solo home run to left field and run scoring single by Ryan Lane to stretch their lead to 5-2.

A Dom Peroni two-out, solo home run in the seventh stretched the advantage to 6-2.

Stambaugh (1-0) was the beneficiary of Morehead State's two-run fifth, picking up the victory.  He exited after five frames after allowing two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out six.

Garbrick checked Furman's bats over the final four frames, surrendering only a Logan Taplett two-out, RBI double in the eighth.  He walked two and struck out five to notch the save.

Paladin starting pitcher Nik Verbeke pitched well, working around base runners in each of his four innings before departing with a 2-1 lead, the run unearned. The senior right-hander walked two and struck out four.

Beatson (0-1), Verbeke's replacement, was charged with the loss, allowing four run on five hits in just 1 1/3 innings of work.

Paladin freshman right-hander Rob Hughes worked a hitless eighth and ninth in his collegiate debut.

Furman freshman second baseman Banks Griffith helped Furman tie the game at 1-1 in the third when his flare double down the right field line allowed Jordan Starkes to sprint home from first base.  

Morehead State registered an 11-6 advantage in hits, with Peroni leading the way with a 3-for-5 performance, highlighted by his solo shot to center field.

Taplett went 2-for-4 to pace Furman.