Chris Ohmstede blasted a two-run home run in the top of the 11th inning, and the Furman Paladins held off Georgia Southern with a 5-3 win Saturday at J.I. Clements Stadium.
The Paladins led until the bottom of the ninth when GSU plated two runs to tie the game, but never trailed in the contest.
"I thought we were going to win the game until we gave up that two-run home run, but we still kept fighting," said GSU's Scooter Williams, who entered the game as a pinch hitter but had two of the Eagles' six hits. "That's baseball for you."
Kyle Rowe relieved McCall, and struck out Greg Harrison to end the threat and strand two Paladins in scoring position.
The Eagles loaded the bases in the 10th with two outs, but Tyler Avera grounded into a fielder's choice to send it to the 11th.
Furman led 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth, but the Eagles (24-23, 12-14) dug in to send it to extra innings.
Chase Griffin got things started with a double, and Robbie Dodds followed with a one-out single. Avera dropped a single into shallow right to drive in Griffin and cut it to 3-2.
Pinch hitter Matt McClellan walked to load the bases, and a sacrifice fly by Kyle Streicher scored Dodds to knot the score.
Alex Abrams, in only his fourth start of the season, came out of the gate dealing.
Ben Morgan singled off the glove of second baseman Jordan Simpson in the first inning, and was the only baserunner until Dodds drew a walk in the fifth. Abrams set down 13 Eagles in a row in the span.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Williams came in to pinch hit for third baseman Brent Pugh. Williams (2-for-3), hitless since April 21 at Western Carolina, drilled a 3-1 pitch over the fence in left center to cut the Furman lead to 2-1. It was the third-career home run for Williams and his first of the season.
"Coach (Rodney Hennon) has been telling me, 'Just stay with what you're doing in (batting practice).' I've been swinging good. I've been struggling, but I stay with it and I'm seeing the ball really good," Williams said.
The Paladins answered with a solo shot by catcher Andrew MacLatchie to lead off the seventh.
Furman opened the scoring in the first when Harrison led off the frame with a double. He took third on a single by Paul Nitto and scored when Ohmstede grounded into a double play. The lead was extended to two the fourth when Harrison scored on an RBI double by MacLatchie.
Georgia Southern got a solid start from freshman Jason Richman, who allowed three runs on eight hits over seven innings.
The Eagles will try to avoid the sweep in the series finale today at 1:30 p.m.
"You never want to lose a series, but we don't want to get swept, so we've got to come out tough," Williams said. "I think we've been taking a better approach with the bats this weekend and I think that's a plus. Hopefully we can keep the bats going, and everything will pick up."
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.