Back-to-back RBI singles by Taylor Johnson and Alex Abrams scored a pair of runs in the top of the 12th inning as Furman defeated The Citadel 8-6 in the Bulldogs' home finale at Riley Park Sunday afternoon in Southern Conference action. The Bulldogs wrap up the regular season with a three-game series at Elon beginning Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
With Brett Tompkins on the mound for the Bulldogs, Furman mounted a two-out rally to pull ahead in extra innings. Will Miller lined a single into left and stole second, scoring on Johnson single to left center. Johnson advanced to second on the throw home and scored when Abrams roped a 3-2 pitch into right center for the two-run Paladin advantage.
Elliott Warford earned the win for the Paladins, tossing the final five innings, allowing just a single run in the ninth that knotted the game at 6-6. Warford gave up one hit, holding the Bulldogs hitless over the final three frames, striking out one with one walk. Johnson and Abrams each collected three hits for Furman, with Abrams adding three RBI. Furman starter Tyler Wood allowed eight hits over six innings, giving up one run.
Tompkins suffered the loss for the Bulldogs, allowing two runs on three hits in the one inning, striking out one. Nick Orvin and Justin Mackert recorded three hits apiece, while Bo Thompson had two hits and three RBI. Orvin's three hits give him 316 for his career, moving into third all-time. Citadel starter Logan Cribb gave up three runs on five hits over 4.2 innings with two walks and one strikeout.
Furman (23-28, 10-17 SoCon) took its first lead of the series, scoring three times in the first for a 3-0 lead. Will Owens lined a one-out double into left center and scored on a RBI single up the middle by Jarrod Rickman. After Miller flied out to right, Johnson beat out an infield single to third, beating out the throw from Bailey Rush by a step to put runners at first and second. Abrams cleared the bases with a two-run triple down the right-field line on a 1-2 pitch from Cribb to put the Paladins up 3-0.
The Paladins added a run in the sixth for a 4-0 lead. Miller led off the frame with a four pitch walk from Citadel reliever Zach Sherrill and Johnson's single to right on the hit-and-run sent Miller to third. James Reeves entered the game in relief for The Citadel and struck out Abrams, but Johnson stole second on the strikeout, putting both runners in scoring position. Chris Ohmstede dropped a bunt down the first base line and Miller scored as Ohmstede was retired at first.
The Bulldogs (24-28, 13-14) broke up Furman's shutout bid in the bottom of the sixth, scoring a single run off Wood for a 4-1 score. Mackert stroked a two-out single up the middle and advanced to second when Joe Jackson drew a five-pitch walk. Thompson lined a 3-1 pitch into right to score Mackert from second for the Bulldogs' first run.
The Citadel took a 5-4 lead with a four-run seventh inning, using five hits and batting through the order. With Ben Carlson on in relief of Wood, pinch-hitter Calvin Orth walked and Johnathan Stokes lined a single to right, sending Orth to third. Orvin singled down the left-field line to score Orth, cutting the deficit to two runs. Matt Solter came on to pitch for the Paladins and one out later, Mackert followed up with a single up the middle to plate Stokes from second for a 4-3 score. Jackson walked on five pitches to load the bases for Thompson, who lined a two-run double down the right-field line to give the Bulldogs a 5-4 advantage.
A wild ninth inning followed as Furman scored twice in the top of the frame to take a 6-5 lead before the Bulldogs knotted the game with a run in the bottom half. With Ryan Hines on the mound for The Citadel, Hunter Burton reached on an infield single and Will Muzika lined a pinch-hit double down the left-field line to put runners at the corners with no outs. Jake Jones lifted a sacrifice fly to left, deep enough to score Burton to tie the game at 5-5. A groundout to short by Owens moved Muzika to third and a RBI double by Rickman plated him for the brief 6-5 lead.
The Bulldogs sent the game into extra innings with a run in the bottom of the frame off Warford. Orvin singled through the left side, advanced to second on a throwing error during a pickoff attempt by Warford and took third on a wild pitch. After a walk to Mason Davis, Orvin scored during a double play to knot the score at 6-6.
The Bulldogs close out the regular season with a three-game Southern Conference series at Elon beginning Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.