GREENVILLE, S.C. (May 9, 2003) - East Tennessee State held a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, but Furman rallied for two runs in the final frame to come away with a 3-2 victory over the Bucs Friday night from Furman Baseball Stadium in Greenville, S.C.
The game was a pitcher's duel throughout, with Furman starter Jon Stallsmith (4-4) getting the win after going the distance and allowing two earned runs on seven hits while striking out five. Buccaneer junior Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) was charged with the tough-luck loss (2-6) after pitching 8.1 innings, scattering nine hits and allowing three runs, two of which were earned. Turner walked three on the evening and struck out seven.
Tonight's contest stayed scoreless for the first five innings, but it certainly did not have a lack of excitement.
Turner worked out of a jam in the bottom of the first, leaving the bases loaded but allowing no Paladin runs. Furman loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk. After a near ETSU (14-31, 9-15 Southern Conference) triple play that resulted in only one out, Turner kept his composure and retired the final two batters of the frame on a strikeout and a ground ball. Turner also worked out of a jam in the second frame, stranding runners on first and third.
In the third inning, the Furman (26-21, 15-13 SoCon) stranded two more runners after a heads-up play by Buccaneer senior first baseman Chad Boruff (Knoxville, Tenn.). On an infield single by Furman right fielder Cole Hubka, first baseman Dominic Frankey tried to score from second. Boruff noticed Frankey coming around third, wheeled and fired to sophomore catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) who made the tag for the final out of the inning.
East Tennessee State threatened in the top of the fourth inning, but Stallsmith did some nifty pitching of his own to keep the game scoreless. The Bucs loaded the bases with one out on a walk to freshman right fielder Jordan Abromovitz (South Park, Pa.), a single up the middle by Moore and a single to center field by freshman designated hitter Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.). But Stallsmith got a double-play ground ball to end the inning.
The Bucs manufactured a run in the top of the sixth to break the scoreless tie. Freshman third baseman Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) led off the inning with a walk, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Moore. Abromovitz then laced a single to right center, bringing home Byrne.
East Tennessee State struck for another run in the top of the seventh, running their lead to 2-0. Junior left fielder Bo Calloway (Knoxville, Tenn.) doubled down the left field line with one out. He scored as sophomore second baseman Justin Clear (LaFollette, Tenn.) came through with a clutch two-out single to right-center.
Furman cut the Buccaneer lead to 2-1, scoring their first run of the night in the bottom of the seventh. Catcher Derek Norman began a two-out rally with a double to right canter. Frankey, the next batter, brought him home on a single to right.
Furman began their rally in the bottom of the ninth with an infield single by second baseman Clint Hill with one out. Paladin center fielder Andrew Greene then singled to center, advancing to Hill to third. Norman then reached on an error, advancing Greene to second and scoring Hill with the tying run. After a fielder's choice by Frankey sent Greene to third, pinch-hitter Sam McLain came to the plate and laced a single to center, scoring Greene with the game-winning run.
Seven Buccaneers had a hit each, with Byrne and Calloway collecting a hit and a run scored and Clear and Abromovitz notching a hit and an RBI on the night.
The first four batters in Furman's order had multiple hits, with Hill, Greene, Norman and Frankey each collecting two base hits.
Game two of the three game weekend set between the Bucs and Paladins will begin tomorrow night at 6 p.m. Live stats for the game will be available on www.furmanpaladins.com.