GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Alex Johnson hit a three-run homer in the top of the eighth, but Miami couldn't overcome a late deficit in a 6-5 loss to Furman Sunday afternoon at Fluor Field.
Furman (2-0) struck first as four batters accounted for two runs. A leadoff single, wild pitch and double led to a 1-0 lead. After a stolen base and walk put runners on the corners, a groundout plated a second run.
Miami (0-2) answered right back in the second. With a runner on first and one out, Slappey doubled down the left field line. Crummy hit a 2-1 pitch through the right side to even the game.
The Paladins took the lead for good in the third. Starter Mac Thoreson allowed a leadoff double, but retired the next two batters on a sacrifice bunt and strikeout. However, another double brought home the run for a 3-2 lead.
Furman added three runs in the seventh when it loaded the bases with two outs. A popfly to Slappey at short was lost momentarily in the wind, then the ball popped out of his glove for a three-run single, making the score 6-2.
Miami closed the gap in the eighth on Johnson's long ball, the first of the season by a RedHawk. Jake Romano led off the frame with an infield roller to short for his first collegiate hit. After a walk, Johnson hit a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left center, trimming the deficit to 6-5.
Two singles around a strikeout continued the threat, but a strikeout and flyout prevented the equalizer.
Thoreson (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five hits and three runs over four innings. Nathan Williams had similar numbers for hits and runs, surrending them over three innings, while converted infielder Cory Klenke gave up a pair hits and struck out two in a scoreless inning of work.
Furman's Jake Wollf (1-0) lasted five innings to pick up the win. Mark Solter, the fifth Paladin pitcher, retired all three batters he faced in the ninth -- two by strikeouts -- for the save.
Miami returns to Greenville next weekend for another round of action at the First Pitch Invitational. The RedHawks and Paladins will meet Friday at 5 p.m. on Furman's campus.