Cougars winners at Shorter - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Cougars winners at Shorter

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ROME+, Ga. – Playing its first game this season as a ranked team, No. 25 Columbus State beat Shorter 4-2 Wednesday afternoon. The game took place at the Ledbetter Complex in Rome, Ga. 

With the victory, the Cougars move to 18-3 in their last 21 games and also inch head coach Greg Appleton closer to a career milestone. Appleton now needs just one win for 600 as the head coach of the Cougars. 

After stranding runners on second and third in the first, Columbus State (21-8) scored the game's first run thanks to a two-out rally in the second. With two outs, Matt Nettles walked advancing Tim Massengale, who reached on a fielder's choice, to second. Brendan Collins would take advantage of the free pass lacing a single to the outfield chasing Massengale from second. 

However, the Hawks came right back in their half of the inning thanks to a two-out walk as well. Caleb Kutsche walked Jesse Gavigan before Jacob Forrest launched a double to left field tying the game at one. Kutsche got a groundout to escape further trouble. 

Over the next two innings, the two sides had more scoring chances but each threat was thwarted by the opposition. 

The Cougars crept out in front again in the fifth scoring a single run. With two outs, Mike McClellan drew a walk extending the inning for Massengale. During the at-bat, McClellan advanced to second via a wild pitch. The wild pitch became costly for SU as Massengale ripped a double putting the guests back in front 2-1. 

Shorter (7-18) didn't waste anytime answering as the Hawks got back-to-back one-out singles by Charlie Gillis and Dylan Riner. With runners on the corners, a wild pitch tied the game at two. 

Appleton would then call for Shawn Thomas who got the next two batters to strikeout and groundout to end the side. 

Columbus State would jump ahead once again in the seventh as the first three batters reached to begin the frame. McClellan walked before a single by Massengale and an error loaded the bases for CSU. After a strikeout, Collins was plunked with a pitch forcing home the go-ahead run. 

Jackson Oliver followed with a sacrifice fly to right that made it a 4-2 game. 

From there, the Columbus State bullpen was fantastic. Sean Muller pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth walking just one batter. Taylor Cato shut the down in the ninth with a perfect inning. 

Shawn Thomas (3-0) was rewarded with a win after pitching 1.2 scoreless innings. He didn't allow any hits while striking out three. 

Caleb Kutsche tossed three innings in the start allowing just one run on one hit. 

Offensively, Blake Edwards (2-for-4) and Tim Massengale (2-for-5) each collected two hits. Massengale scored twice while driving in one as well. 

Brendan Collins (1-for-5) had two RBIs while Jackson Oliver (1-for-4) extended his career best hitting streak to 13. Collins extended his own hitting streak to 12. 

For Shorter, Charlie Gillis was 2-for-3 while Jacob Forrest was 1-for-3 with a run scoring double. 

Brodie Orr took the loss allowing two unearned runs. Travis McPherson took the no-decision pitching five innings and surrendering two runs on six hits. He issued six walks while striking out seven. 

Columbus State will host Peach Belt Conference rival Francis Marion for a three-game series beginning on Friday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Ragsdale Field. The series will conclude with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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