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Furman Comeback Slams Georgia State, 13-12

Jabari Richards celebrates following his grand slam that lifted Furman past Georgia State, 13-12, on Wednesday.
Jabari Richards

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Jabari Richards belted a two-out eighth inning grand slam to complete a comeback from a 10-run deficit and give Furman a 13-12 victory over Georgia State in Wednesday baseball action at Latham Stadium.

Furman (14-15), which trailed 10-0 in the third inning and 12-9 in the eighth, used a pair of walks and a Dillon Love single to load the bases in the eighth against Georgia State reliever Liam Henry.  Richards then powdered a one-ball offering over the center field fence to give the Paladins a 13-12 lead.

In the ninth Jake Crawford pitched around a one-out fielding error by getting the Panthers' Ryan Glass on a ground out to third base to nail down the victory and halt Furman's eight-game losing skid.

The game featured 33 hits and eight home runs, including three grand slams, with Richards' clout following a bases loaded blast by Jason Costa in the fourth inning that helped fuel Furman's comeback. 

The Paladins trailed 10-0 when Jake Crawford's two-out single off the leg of Georgia State starting pitcher Bryan White allowed Jake Anderson to score Furman's first run.  Freshman designated hitter Jared Mihalik followed with his first career home run, a two-run shot to left field, and Brandon Elmy made it back-to-back round trippers with a solo blast to cap the four-run frame.

Furman put another four-spot on the scoreboard an inning later, taking advantage of a two-out fielding error to bring Costa to the plate, and the Paladin senior, making his first start at catcher this year, didn't miss the opportunity by launching the first of two Furman grand slams to pull the Paladins to within 10-8.

The Panthers tallied a pair of runs on four hits in the fifth to go up 12-8 but saw their chance for more cut short when Jack Thompson was thrown out at home plate from left field by Richards.  An inning later Georgia State loaded the bases on three walks but Furman's Jordan Beatson struck out Brandon Bell swinging to end the threat.

Georgia State juiced the bases again in the eighth but couldn't cash in as Crawford got Bell to ground out to third base for the third out.

Costa and Richards led a parade of six Paladins who registered two-hit performances, and the duo combined to drive in eight of Furman's 13 runs via the two grand slams.  The Paladins finished with 16 hits.

Georgia State blistered the baseball over the first three innings, registering 11 of their 17 hits and grabbing a 5-0 first inning lead against Paladin starter John Miachael Bertrand on a Bell grand slam and RBI single by Glass.

In the second Nick Gatewood drilled his first of two home runs, a solo shot to right field, to put the Panthers up 6-0 and chase Bertrand.

Georgia State continued its onslaught in the third with a two-run home by Glass that landed high on the hill above the left field fence and a Gatewood two-run single that staked the Panthers to the 10-0 lead.

Crawford (1-1) picked up the win, pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth.  The loss went to Henry, who came on in the eighth with two runners on base and one out.  He recorded a strikeout for the second out before loading the bases on four pitches to Landon Kay, setting up Richards' game winning grand slam.

Furman (14-15) opens a three-game SoCon series at Mercer on Friday with a 6:00 p.m. game.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information