The Central Connecticut baseball team dropped the series-opener at Furman, 12-8, on Friday at Latham Stadium in Greenville, SC. Both teams cranked out 15 hits, with senior Mitch Guilmette going 4-of-5 at the plate for CCSU.
The loss drops Central to 1-3 overall on the year, while Furman improves to 5-4 overall.
The three-game series continues on Saturday with first pitch at 1:00 p.m.
The Paladins opened the scoring with a run in the first inning. Jabari Richards walked with one out and moved to second on a balk. Brandon Elmy followed two batters later with a two-out single to plate Richards and make it 1-0.
Central came back with a run in the second inning to tie the game. Senior Nick Garland singled and moved to second on a passed ball. A fly out would move Garland to third and freshman Christian Layne scored him with a sacrifice fly to make it 1-1.
Furman regained the lead with a run in the second. Sims Griffith tripled to left center and scored on a sac fly by Bret Huebner to make it 2-1.
Senior Dean Lockery led off the CCSU third with a single. He moved to second on an infield single by freshman Jake Siracusa and came around to score on a double by senior Mitch Guilmette to make it 2-2.
The Paladins took the lead with a four-run fourth inning. Deon Sanders hit a two-run homerun with no outs to make it 4-2. Griffith would reach on a wild pitch third strike and came around to score on a fielding error. A two-out single by Jake Costa would drive in a run to make it 6-2.
Central got two runs back in the seventh. Siracusa led off with a walk and was followed by a single from sophomore TT Bowens. Guilmette followed with a double to drive in a run, making it 6-3 and moving Bowens to third. Sophomore Buddy Dewaine followed with an RBI ground out to bring home Bowens and cut the deficit to 6-4.
Furman bounced back with six runs in the bottom of the inning. Griffith and Huebner recorded back-to-back RBI singles to make it 8-4. Ben Anderson would hit a single to drive home a run, before Costa followed two batters later with a three-run homerun to make it 12-4.
The Blue Devils would try to rally, scoring four runs over the final two innings. Freshman Sam Loda would double with one out in the eighth before Lockery and Siracusa drew walks to load the bases. Bowens would single down the right field line to plate two runs and make it 12-6. With runners on the corners, Guilmette singled home Siracuse to make it 12-7.
Freshman Peyton Stephens led off the CCSU ninth with a single. Freshman Matt Bertochi came on as a pinch-runner and would move to third after a ground out and a single by junior Ken Wright. Lockery would single to bring home a run and cut the deficit to 12-8. The Paladins would get a double-play to end the threat and the game.
Guilmette led the CCSU offense with four hits, including two doubles, and three RBIs. Bownes would add two hits and two RBIs. Lockery had two hits, two runs and an RBI, while Siracusa scored two runs.
Sophomore Brandon Fox started and was saddled with the loss after going just 3.1 innings. Sophomore Andrew Braun would toss 3.0 innings, allowing just one run, while striking out five and walking two.
Anderson went 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI, while Griffith was 3-of-4 with three runs and an RBI for Furman. Costa drove in four runs on two hits.
Nik Verbeke started and went 5.0 innings to get the win. He allowed one earned run with three strikeouts.