GREENVILLE, S.C. (May 11, 2003) - Furman rallied for six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, proving to be the deciding factor in a 9-4 Paladin victory over East Tennessee State Sunday afternoon from rainy Furman Baseball Stadium in Greeneville, S.C.
After 58 minutes of rain delays early in the game, the Paladins (28-21, 17-13 Southern Conference) got on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the third. Center fielder Andrew Greene and second baseman Clint Hill led off the frame with consecutive singles. The two baserunners moved up to second and third following a double-steal. After a walk by left fielder Craig Caudill loaded the bases, Greene scored the first run of the game on a fielder's choice by shortstop Derek Norman. The subsequent batter, first baseman Dominic Frankey singled, but the possible second run of the ball game was gunned down at the plate by Buccaneer freshman left fielder Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) with a perfect strike to freshman catcher Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.). ETSU senior righty Jarrod Hyder (Elizabethton, Tenn.) settled down to end the third with no further damage.
Furman sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth, scoring six runs to extend its lead to 7-0. The first eight batters of the inning reached base, with designated hitter Sam McLain delivering the big blow of the inning, hitting a double with the bases loaded, scoring all three runners.
The Paladins ran their lead to 8-0 in the bottom of the sixth as Norman led off the inning with a home run to left.
East Tennessee State (14-33, 9-17 SoCon) scored their first runs of the game in the top of the seventh. Calicutt, freshman designated hitter Beau Alford (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Church hit consecutive singles to begin the inning, The throw from left field on Church's single got away and Calicutt raced home. Junior center fielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) then came to the plate and hit a three-run homer over the left field wall to cut the Paladin lead in half, 8-4.
Furman added a run to their lead, scoring their final run in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Greene reached on a fielder's choice then stole second. He then scored on a single with two down by Caudill.
Furman starter Kyle Funk (6-2) earned the win, pitching six innings and allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out two. Hyder (6-3) was charged with the loss for the Bucs after pitching four innings and allowing five earned runs on 12 hits. He also walked one and struck out two on the afternoon.
East Tennessee State was led by Turner, who went 2-for4 with a run scored and three RBI on the day. Calicutt and Church also tied for the team lead with two hits each.
Furman was led at the plate by Cassedy and Latora, who each had three hits. Greene and Norman led the Paladins with two runs scored and McLain paced the team with three RBI.
East Tennessee State returns to the diamond tomorrow night at 7 p.m. against Tennessee Tech from Cardinal Park in Johnson City.