GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team, trailing by a run in the ninth, loaded the bases with two outs but Furman induced a 4-3 groundout to end the game and hold on for the 7-6 victory at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. on Sunday afternoon. PC drops to 6-7 on the season, while FU improves to 8-3.
How It Happened
The Blue Hose got on the board first with a run in the top half of the second. Nick Guimbarda drew a leadoff walk and stole second two batters later to put a runner in scoring position with one out. Guimbarda would move to third on a groundout to first before Andrew Bladt singled to left to drive him in and give PC a 1-0 advantage.
Furman broke things open with four runs in the bottom half of the second. Jake Crawford singled with one out and Bret Huebner followed with a walk to put on, before a wild pitch put both in scoring position with one out. PC starter Hayden Deal then recorded his second strikeout of the inning but the pitch was wild and allowed both base runners to move up and Sim Griffith to reach, putting a run on the board and runners at first and third. After a strikeout for the second out, Carter Grote singled to score one and Landon Kay doubled to plate two more to make it a 4-1 Furman lead.
PC answered with two runs in the third. AJ Priaulx walked for the second time in the game with one out and Nick Wise followed with a double in the right-center gap, putting two in scoring position with just one out. TJ Richardson delivered with a two-run single to right center to score both runners and cut the lead to 4-3.
The Blue Hose tied the game an inning later after Furman turned to the bullpen. Tyler Weyenberg singled to right center with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch a few pitches later. After a strikeout for the second out, Priaulx singled off the Green Monster, scoring Weyenberg from second and tying the game at 4-4.
Furman retook the lead in fourth with three runs. Jabari Richards led off the inning with a single and Grote followed with an RBI triple in to the right field corner to make it a 5-4 game. A groundout to short then plated Grote from third for the second run of the inning but the Paladins weren’t done. Sky Overton and Brandon Elmy put together back-to-back singles to put two on with one out. The Blue Hose then looked to have turned a double play to end the inning but Priaulx was called off the bag at first, which allowed Overton to score and make it a 7-4 game.
PC cut it in to the lead with a run in the sixth. Glen Casaceli tripled in to right center to start the inning, putting a runner ninety feet away with no outs. After a hard lineout to first for the first out, Weyenberg hit a grounder to second to bring in Casaceli and lessen the advantage to 7-5.
In the ninth inning, Priaulx got things started with a solo blast to right field, his first homer of the season, to reach base for the fifth time in the game and cut the lead to just one run. After back-to-back outs, Guimbarda singled to center to put the tying run aboard. Brett Auckland followed with a walk to put the go-ahead run aboard and Casaceli was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Furman reliever Jake Crawford was able to induce a 4-3 groundout on the second pitch of the ensuing at-bat to end the game for a 7-6 Paladin win.
Pitchers of Record
Furman reliever Heath Hawkins (2-0) earned the win with 3.0 innings in relief, allowing two runs on four hits with no walks and a pair of strikeouts.
PC starter Hayden Deal (1-1) suffered his first loss of the year, going 4.0 innings and allowing seven runs on nine hits with six strikeouts against three walks.
Furman’s Jake Crawford earned his third save of the year, moving over to the mound for the final 1.1 innings of the game after starting the game at third base. The righty allowed a lone run on the Priaulx homer, one of two hits against him, with one walk and one hit batter.
Player of the Game
AJ Priaulx continued to hit the ball well at Fluor Field, reaching base in all five plate appearances. The lefty first baseman went 2-for-3 with a homer, two walks, two runs and two RBIs on the afternoon. He continues to lead PC at the plate, batting .366 on the year now with a team-high eight RBIs and a .537 slugging percentage.
- Will Smith continues to deal out of the bullpen, tossing 3.0 scoreless inning of one-hit baseball with three strikeouts against a lone walk. Smith has now worked 10.2 innings without allowing a run and has held opposing hitters to a .125 average against him.
- TJ Richardson and Nick Wise both continued to swing the bat well, each going 2-for-5 at the plate at the fourth and fifth spots in the order, respectively. Wise scored a run on the day, while Richardson drove in two runs on a big single in the third inning. Richardson improved his average to .364 this season, coming in 22 at-bats, while Wise pushed his average to .323 in 31 at-bats.
- Tyler Weyenberg also had a two-hit game against the Paladins, his fourth of the season to tie for the team lead with Priaulx. The senior scored a run in the fourth and drove in a run in the sixth.
- Sunday’s affair with the Paladins was PC’s eighth game this season decided by just one run. The Blue Hose are 5-3 in such games so far.
The Blue Hose return to action in the midweek with a pair of home games, hosting Butler at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and NC Central at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.