Cougars knock off No. 1 West Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. – No. 10 Columbus State got a strong pitching performance from senior Levi Futo as the Cougars knocked off top-ranked West Florida 5-4 on Wednesday afternoon. The game was played at Jim Spooner Field in Pensacola.

It snaps a three-game losing streak in which CSU lost all three contests by one run due to some defensive lapses.  They allowed 10 unearned runs in those three losses.

Columbus State is now 6-4 against nationally ranked teams this season. 

After a quick top of the first inning, West Florida got a one-out single by Dustin Saulmon. The next batter roped a single to leftfield and when Saulmon tried to take third base, Garrett Houghton gunned him down for the second out of the inning. Another Agro hit put runners on the corners with two-outs, but Levi Futo struck out Josh Huggins for the final out of the inning.

The Cougars scored two in the second thanks to a one-out Aaron Jividen single through the left side of the infield. Brett Teschner led the frame off with a single and walks to Logan Dollar and Seth Corbitt loaded the bases for Jividen.

Futo gave up just one hit through the next three innings and allowed the Cougars to score three in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead.

Cyle Rasmus led the fifth off with a single and moved to second on a Cameron Scott one-out single. The next batter Teschner roped a single into centerfield chasing Rasmus home. After Houghton was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Dollar brought home a run with a fielder's choice and Harrison Waller drove in the final run of the frame with a single through the left side of the infield.

The Agros got a run in the fifth as Eric Sauls led the frame off with a double down the leftfield line. Back-to-back groundouts brought Sauls home for the host's first run of the contest.

UWF tacked on a pair of runs an inning later which began with a single and a hit by pitch before a sacrifice bunt put runners in scoring position.  Josh Huggins grounded out plating the first run of the inning and JR Pryor singled up the middle making it a 5-3 contest.

Futo retired the next six batters before allowing a two-out single in the eighth inning.  Chase Gilreath come on in relief of the righty and got out of the frame unscathed.

Two throwing errors by Columbus State to start off the ninth made things interesting as it put runners on first and third with nobody out.  A safety squeeze by Blake Barber cut the Argos deficit to one, 5-4.  Gilreath was able to dig down and struck out a hitter and induced a flyout to end the game.

Cameron Scott went 2-for-5 with a run scored while Brett Teschner went 2-for-4 scoring twice and driving in a run.  Aaron Jividen drove in a pair as he went 1-for-3.

Futo improved to 2-0 on the year going 7.2 innings allowing three runs on eight hits.  He didn't issue a walk while striking out four.  Gilreath picked up his second save of the year tossing 1.1 innings.

Jordan DeLorenzo dropped to 1-1 surrendering all five runs in five innings of action.  He gave up eight hits and two walks while striking out six.  Dustin Saulmon went 3-for-4 and Billy O'Connor went 2-for-3 as the only Argos with multi-hit performances.

Columbus State hosts Peach Belt Conference foe USC Aiken in a three-game series this weekend.  The Saturday doubleheader versus the No. 17 Pacers gets underway at 1:00 p.m. ET.