Citadel 10, Furman 9
Hughston Armstrong capped a seesaw game with a two-run homer in the eighth, giving The Citadel a victory over Furman and its first Southern Conference series win of the year.
The Bulldogs (18-25, 4-15 SoCon) won their third in a row but had to overcome deficits of 4-1, 6-5 and 9-8 in their final four times at bat. The game saw five lead changes between the fifth and eighth innings before Skylar Hunter slammed the door shut in the ninth to secure the victory.
The Paladins (16-25, 6-10) scored three times in the seventh and took a 9-8 lead on a two-run single by Hunter Burton. Still trailing by one in the eighth, Ryan Kilgallen drew a leadoff walk from Elliott Warford and was at second with two outs when Armstrong launched his second career home run over the wall in right.
Hunter issued a two-out walk to Cameron Whitehead but induced Burton to pop out to short. The sophomore closer has saved all three games of the current winning streak and increased his season total to 10 and career mark to 23, the fifth most in Citadel history.
The Armstrong homer, his first since going deep against East Tennessee State on April 17, 2013, made a winner of David Rivera, the seventh of eight Bulldog pitchers. Rivera earned his first win of the year with a scoreless eighth, while Warford took his second loss in as many days and dropped to 2-4.
Mason Davis had three hits including two doubles and drove in three runs for The Citadel, while Bo Thompson joined Armstrong with two RBIs. Thompson knocked in a pair with a double that capped a four-run fifth which erased a 4-1 Furman lead.
The Paladins answered with two in the sixth but a line drive to center resulted in a double play at third when Burton was retired trying to advance just before Griffin Davis crossed the plate to keep it just a one-run game.
Singles by Kilgallen and Davis drove in runs in the bottom of the sixth helped put The Citadel back ahead 8-6 before Furman took its final lead of the afternoon an inning later. Every Paladin starter had at least one hit with Heath Burton pacing a 14-hit attack with three singles and three runs scored.
Both teams scored a run in the third, and Charleston native Alex Abrams hit a two-run homer off Bulldog starter Austin Mason in the fourth. A bases loaded walk in the fifth upped the Furman lead to 4-1, setting the stage for the wild second half of the game.
The teams will play the final game of the series at 1 p.m. Sunday.
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