The Furman Paladins are fueled by Will power.
Furman (13-13) plays at The Winthrop Ballpark today with a lineup that includes Will Miller, Will Owens and Will Muzika as three of its top four hitters.
Miller's 10 stolen bases lead the team and he is second with a .326 batting average. Owens, a junior outfielder, is hitting .307 and has scored 21 runs. Muzika, a sophomore, leads the team with two home runs and 15 RBIs.
The Paladins are coming off winning two of three games against UNC Greensboro last weekend. Owens went 4-for-10 and scored six times in the series.
Winthrop (10-13) lost two of three at Liberty last weekend. The Eagles will be looking to gain some momentum before starting a three-game Big South set at High Point beginning on Friday.
"We had a couple of fielding errors lead to some runs. The defense has to be cleaned up," Winthrop coach Tom Riginos said on Monday. "We've been inconsistent. We have to compete for all nine innings. We have to play clean."
Winthrop committed seven errors at Liberty leading to six unearned runs. The Eagles have 33 miscues in their first 23 games and are on pace for 76 boots this season. The team had 68 errors a year ago.
The Eagles have lost five of their last six games but have begun to show a little bit of power. The team hit just one home run in its first 18 games. At Florida, Eddie Rohan hit his first of the year. Matt Lobacz went long at Liberty.
Riginos said again that he isn't worried about the home runs. He called Rohan "one of the strongest kids I've ever been around." Rohan moved into second on Winthrop's all-time home run list with 43 career homers. He also pulled into a tie for fourth on the Big South's all-time homer list.
Winthrop senior pitcher Robert Lake pitched the Eagles to a 2-1 win at Liberty on Friday in the second game of a doubleheader and was named the Big South Pitcher of the Week on Monday.
Lake pitched a season-high eight innings and allowed five hits and no walks while fanning four. He snapped Winthrop's four-game losing streak and picked up his first win of the season in the process.
"Robert threw a lot of first-pitch strikes," Riginos said. "He doesn't walk a lot of guys. You know what you are going to get when he is out there."
It is the second time Lake has earned Pitcher of the Week honors. He was honored Feb. 23, 2010, after hurling seven shutout innings in an 11-4 win over George Mason at The Winthrop Ballpark.
Lake is scheduled to start on Saturday at High Point.
Tonight's starters are yet to be determine. Riginos hinted that Matt Pierpont (0-2, 11.88) could get his second straight midweek nod. He shouldered the 10-0 loss at No. 1 Florida on March 23. He gave up seven runs in 5 1-3 innings.
Riginos said you have to look beyond the line score to assess Pierpont's last outing.
"He pitched well for not having a start this year," Riginos said. "He is starting to develop into a guy we can use on a regular basis."
Furman could go with Daniel Stallsmith (2-1, 2.75) who went 5 2-3 innings in a 4-2 win over South Carolina on March 16 at Fluor Field in Greenville. The Paladins host Charleston Southern on Wednesday.