Furman (13-17) rallied in the ninth inning to defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers (16-13) 8-6 and take the series in the first game of a Sunday afternoon double-header.
The Mountaineers looked to be in control early as they took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Darius Hill and a two-out fly ball single by Jackson Cramer. WVU picked up where they left off in the bottom of the fourth as Shaun Wood blasted his first home run of the season to right field, extending to Mountaineer lead to 3-0.
Ross Vance (5-1) was solid through the first five innings of the day, but in the top of the sixth he loaded the bases three times and Furman was able to capitalize on an error by third-basemen Cole Austin that cut The Mountaineers lead to 3-2. Two batters later Furman catcher Andrew MacLatchie hit an RBI groundout to tie the game, and shortstop Matt Towarnicky doubled on the next at-bat to give Furman a 4-3 lead.
The Mountaineers were able to load the bases in the sixth but Furman pitcher Harry Norman (1-2) was able to get out of the jam with a KC Huth pop-up to the first baseman. In the bottom half of the seventh the Mountaineers took advantage of a shaky Furman bullpen to retake the lead, facing four different pitchers and scoring three runs on just one hit. A wild pitch allowed Darius Hill to steal home plate and tie the game at 4 apiece, Shaun Wood would hit a sacrifice fly to take the lead and Kyle Gray would drive in another run to make the score 6-4.
After a nice rebound in the seventh and eighth innings, Vance allowed the first two runners in the top of the ninth to reach base. Both runners were then able to advance on a wild pitch and closer Blake Smith (2-1) came in to the game to try and retire the side. Smith immediately allowed Furman to score on a wild pitch and shortly after Furman scored on a passed ball, tying the game 6-6. Smith walked two runners and his day quickly came to an end. Shortly after Smith’s departure, Sky Overton singled off Conner Dotson to give Furman a 7-6 lead. After the hit Jackson Sigman came in to try and get the final two outs. Furman was able to get an insurance run on a throwing error and ended the eighth inning by scoring four runs and taking an 8-6 lead. That would be enough to defeat the Mountaineers, who were unable to get anything going in the bottom of the ninth.
WVU will look to salvage the third game of the series and avoid the sweep in the second game of the double-header. First pitch will start at approximately 3:25 p.m.