NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Nacogdoches doctor Eddy Furniss has always been proud of his accomplishments from his time of one of the greatest college baseball players in the past 25 years.
“Twenty-one years and I read 31 days,” Furniss laughed. “It is time to pass the torch to the modern generation.”
That was the exact time he held the all-time hit record at Louisiana State University. That record fell on Sunday night when LSU beat Southern Miss in the final of the Baton Rouge Regional.
Antoine Duplantis became LSU’s all-time hits leader in his first at bat of the night. A single to center field in the first inning was hit No. 353 for Duplantis to pass Eddy Furniss’ record. He added to that with a single through the left side in the seventh inning for hit No. 354.
“He has been a great ambassador for the program and a great guy,” Furniss said. “I am so proud for him.”
“These past few days it seemed that the pressure was starting to build,” Duplantis said. " I didn’t think about it these past couple of weeks so I am glad I got it out of the way."
When Furniss suited up for the Tigers, there was not as much wide-spread coverage of the game. Technology has changed all that.
“It is so different now,” Furniss said. “I didn’t even know when I was going to break the record. There wasn’t Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and people constantly keeping track of the record chase. I am sure Antonie he knew when he was at 350 and 351 so despite you are trying not to think about it that is all he was hearing. It has to be harder in the modern era then when I played.”
Furniss also believes it is a big possibility that the record Duplantis ends up finishing with will stand for a while.
“It has been amazing how much better baseball has become so to have that record stand for 20 years, wow,” Furniss said. “Between 1991 and 96 four people held the record and I was the last one and it has been 21 years. Usually the best hitters are taken in three years so normally you don’t get that fourth year to get those at bats. It shows by the fact that it took two decades to get close to that record.”
Furniss said he will be paying close attention to the Tigers as they make their way deeper into the NCAA Tournament.