GREENVILLE, S.C. – Furman’s Jake Crawford singled with the bases loaded in the 11th inning to plate the game-winning run, as the Paladins edged Presbyterian, 9-8, in a back-and-forth affair on Sunday evening at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C.
Trailing 7-5 with one out in the top of the ninth, AJ Priaulx hit a pinch-hit, three-run home run to right center to put PC (1-2) in front 8-7. Furman (1-2) tied the game at 8 in the bottom half of the inning on a Jordan Simpson single, forcing extra innings before later walking off in the 11th.
PC racked up 16 hits in the game with nine different players recording a hit and seven recording two-hit games. Jacob Midkiff put together another strong night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBIs. The top six players in the batting order for PC each had two hits and scored at least one run.
Both teams each used six pitchers in the 4:30 contest. Billy Greenfield (1-0) earned the win for Furman with 2.0 innings of scoreless baseball out of the bullpen. Colton Springs (0-1) was charged with the loss, allowing just the one run in 1.2 innings of work in relief.
PC got on the board first for the third straight game with three runs on four hits in the first inning. Brett Auckland led off the game with single to right and Tyler Weyenberg followed with a triple to right center to plate Auckland and make it 1-0. Two batters later, Midkiff doubled to right to score Weyenberg and Peter Johnson followed with a single to score Midkiff.
Furman tied the game with a run in the second and two in third. With two outs in the second, Deon Sanders singled and scored two batters later on a two-out single by Crawford. Furman loaded the bases in the third, scoring its first run in the inning on a balk before Jordan Simpson singled to drive in the second and tie the game at 3-3.
PC reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth, scratching across a run with two outs. Johnson drew a leadoff walk and Rob Koski singled to right two batters later to put runners on the corners. After a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Auckland recorded his second hit of the game, an infield single to third, to score Johnson to put PC back in front 4-3.
Furman would re-tie the game in the bottom half of the inning, as Crawford hit a lead-off, solo home run, making it a 4-4 game at the time.
The Blue Hose pulled in front again in the top of the fifth. Avery doubled for the second time in the game and Jackson followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Midkiff then singled through the right side to plate Avery from third and give the Blue Hose a 5-4 advantage.
Furman tied the game for the third straight frame in the bottom of the fifth. Jordan Simpson hit a solo home run over the Green Monster in left to even the scorer at 5-5.
Furman pulled in front for the first time with two runs in the sixth. Crawford singled with one out and Jabari Richards followed with a double to put runners on second and third. A sac fly and a double would score both to give the Paladins the 7-5 lead.
In the 9th, Weston Jackson and Midkiff drew back-to-back walks to start the inning, forcing a pitching change for Furman. Two batters later, Priaulx hit the go-ahead home run to extend the game.
Crawford was 4-for-6 with a homer, two runs and three RBIs to lead the Paladins. Simpson contributed three hits and three RBIs to aid Furman.
PC returns to action on Tuesday with its home opener at the PC Baseball Complex against the Paladins in the second of three meetings between the two this season.