Cougars top Shorter in pitchers' duel

CSU 2, Shorter 1

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State scored two runs in the second and got a key late inning double play to defeat Shorter 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon at Ragsdale Field.

Five different Cougar pitchers limited Shorter to just one run on five hits including a great performance by CSU starter Robert Hayes.

After a quick first inning, Columbus State (10-6) got things going in the second. Blake Edwards extended his hitting streak to 10 games thanks to a leadoff single to right-centerfield and moved to second after Dustin Averett was hit by a pitch.

Head coach Greg Appleton would then decide to play small ball as Blaine Miller laid down a great bunt. Dustin Evans grabbed the ball at third but his throw went off the mark rolling to the outfield allowing Edwards to score from second.

With two-outs and a runner on third, Carson Bowers lifted a fly ball to deep right field that Ian Redetzky couldn't pull in allowing Bowers to drive home the second run of the game.

Hayes continued his dominance allowing his first hit of the game in the fourth inning as Redetzky chopped a ball in the infield that Bowers couldn't make a play on. It snapped a span of eight straight batters retired by Hayes.

The freshman exited after the fifth giving way to Jake Ezell who allowed just one hit in his one inning of work.

Shorter (4-10) had its chance in the seventh as the first three batters reached base off of Jordan Villhauer. With the bases loaded, Will Harrison did his job hitting a flyball to left field driving in a run.

After Villhauer reloaded the bases with a walk, Appleton went to the pen again turning to freshman Caleb Kutsche. Kutsche would go ahead 0-2 against Jesse Gavigan before Gavigan reached out and poked the ball to second. Jimmy Obermark fielded it cleanly to begin a huge 4-6-3 double play to keep the Cougars ahead 2-1.

The Hawks tried to tie the game in the eighth getting a runner on second with just one out. However, Kutsche got a grounder and strikeout to end the threat.

Trey Watson allowed a single in the ninth but nothing else as he saved his third game of the season.

With his great start, Robert Hayes (1-0) picked up his first collegiate win. He pitched five scoreless innings allowing just one hit. He also struck out three.

Caleb Kutsche pitched 1.2 hitless innings issuing just one walk.

Blake Edwards (2-for-4) and Carson Bowers (2-for-4) were the lone Cougar players to record a multi-hit game. Edwards scored a run while Bowers drove one in.

Brodie Orr (0-2) took the loss but pitched well for Shorter allowing just two runs on five hits over six innings.

Bryan Mathews was 2-for-4 for the Hawks.

Columbus State will continue its homestand on Saturday, hosting long time rival Armstrong Atlantic. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET.