April 17, 2012
Athens, Ga.-----A five-run outburst led to Furman posting a 5-4 win over Georgia Tuesday at Foley Field.
Down 2-0 in the fourth, the Paladins (18-20) erupted for the big inning off senior right-hander Michael Palazzone who was coming off a complete game win over No. 18 Ole Miss last Thursday. In a planned staff night, Georgia got five pitchers some work. The other four, David Sosebee, Jarrett Brown, Luke Crumley and Pete Nagel, all freshmen, combined to throw eight shutout innings and allowed three hits. Palazzone was touched for five runs on four hits in an inning to fall to 1-5. Georgia was playing its fifth game in the past six days and went 3-2 in this stretch.
"Some of our seniors struggled tonight, but our freshmen pitchers were outstanding," said Georgia coach David Perno. "Michael (Palazzone) wanted to get some work, and I didn't find out until after the fact that he was a little under the weather. He was coming off a great outing so it was tough to see him struggle tonight. This was a tough way to end this part of our schedule this week. We need to really play well this weekend at Florida and hope that's enough because Florida is good."
The Bulldogs (23-15) struck early, with two outs in the first inning senior first baseman Jonathan Hester knocked in centerfielder Peter Verdin with a triple to deep centerfield. Two batters later the Bulldogs' freshman right fielder, Justin Bryan--making just his fourth start of the season--scored Hester with a single to right field. Bryan now has eight RBIs on four hits this season.
The Georgia pitching dominated the first three innings. Sosebee started and in two went two innings. The third was pitched by Brown who also did not give up a hit or run. Palazzone pitched the fourth. The first batter he faced, right fielder Jake Jones, got Furman's first hit of the game, with a single up the middle. Next, first baseman Taylor Johnson hit a hard chopper to Hester and his throw to Palazzone, who was covering first base, went astray allowing Jones to score Furman's first run on the base hit and error. Two batters later second baseman Will Muzika sharply hit a double to right-center field, which tied up the game. After a strikeout, third baseman Alex Abrams gave Furman the lead with a run scoring groundout to second. With two outs, Georgia native Chris Ohmstede extended Furman's lead to 5-2 with a two-run home run.
Georgia responded in the bottom of the inning, with two outs Verdin was hit by a pitch. He then stole second to put himself in scoring position for freshman Nelson Ward. Ward scored Verdin with a single up the middle, making the score 5-3.
In the fifth the Bulldogs continued to chop away at Furman's lead. Hester led off the fifth with a walk, then had his first career stolen base on a pitch that Furman pitcher Jaques de Gray threw wild allowing Hester to also take third. Next second baseman Levi Hyams hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield cutting Furman's lead to one, but that was as close as the Bulldogs got.
Furman's Matt Solter and Alex Abrams pitched a solidly in the last three innings to hold the lead for the Paladins. Abrams held off Georgia in the ninth, when he struck out senior Colby May to end the game with shortstop Kyle Farmer on second for his second save.
Furman starter Elliot Warford picked up the win putting his record at (3-0). Georgia will be back in action Friday for the start of a three-game SEC series against top-ranked Florida (28-8, 9-6 SEC).