Cougars win opening game of doubleheader

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Fourth-ranked Columbus State scored four runs in the bottom of the second and held off a late Armstrong Atlantic rally to defeat the No. 17 Pirates 7-6 on Sunday afternoon. It was the first game of a doubleheader played at Ragsdale Field.

After both teams went down quietly to start the game, the Cougars got two on the base paths in the second inning as Brett Teschner led the frame off with a walk and moved to second on a single by Eric Weiss. After a fly out that advanced Teschner, Cameron Griffin laced a single through the left side of the infield platting the game's first run.

A Kenny Miller single into rightfield loaded the bases for Cyle Rasmus who skied a fly ball to centerfield that was deep enough to chase home Weiss but the Armstrong centerfield dropped the ball allowing everyone to advance a base.

Back-to-back RBI singles from J.D. Pullen and Navarro Hall scored the innings final two runs.

Cougar starter Brodie Leibrandt was rolling until the fourth as Zach Taylor led off with a single and moved to third on an errant pick off attempt by Leibrandt. After a walk, Taylor would score on a wild pitch and Clayton Miller would knock in the final run of the inning with a groundout to shortstop.

Columbus State (10-3, 3-2) would score single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

Hall led the fifth off with a double into the left-centerfield gap and moved to third on a Cameron Scott groundout to second. The Cougars continued to play fundamental baseball as Teschner hit a sacrifice fly scoring Hall.

Rasmus created a run for CSU in the sixth as he singled and then proceeded to steal second. Next up was Pullen who hit one just past the third baseman driving home his second run of the game.

The Cougars scored an unearned run in the seventh as Scott reached on an error. After a fly out, Weiss hit a triple down the rightfield line scoring Scott.

Armstrong (8-3, 0-2) made things interesting in the ninth scoring four runs. After two hits and a walk loaded the bases with one-out, Casey Maloney singled into leftfield platting two. A fielder's choice got the second out of the innings before Cody Powell popped a fly ball in no man's land behind the third base bag. The ball found the ground allowing two runs to score.

Leibrandt however got Clayton Miller to fly out for the final out of the game.

The left-hander (4-0) tossed his third complete game of the season allowing six runs on 10 hits. He struck out three along the way. The two runs allowed in the fourth by the southpaw snapped a 16.2 scoreless innings streak.

J.D. Pullen and Eric Weiss both had three hits in the game for Columbus State. Pullen had two RBIs while Weiss had one run batted in.

Ethan Bader was struck with his first loss of the season lasting 6.1 innings allowing seven runs (five earned).

Casey Maloney was 2-for-5 with two RBIs while Cody Powell drove in two as well.