Cougars Fall in National Championship
SOURCE: CSU ATHLETICS
The postseason run came to a close on Saturday for the eighth-ranked Columbus State University baseball team, as the Cougars took a 3-2 loss against No. 11 Augustana in the national championship. The NCAA Division II College World Series was played at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
Columbus State wraps up the season with a 48-15 overall record, tied for the second-most wins in head coach Greg Appleton’s 21 seasons. The Cougars end the year as the national runner-up for the third time, joining the 1986 and 2007 teams.
“Give Augustana all the credit today,” Appleton said. “Their pitcher threw a great game and they came up with some big hits when they needed them.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this group of guys though. The leadership of the seniors, the personality of the guys, I’m glad they took me along on this great ride.”
Saturday started as a pitcher’s duel, with neither offense plating a run through the first three innings. Augustana (52-9) finally broke through with a pair of runs in the fourth behind four singles.
The first 12 Cougars that went to the plate were retired, but everything changed in the fifth. Austin Pharr lined a single to right field and Robert Brooks tied the game up with one swing of the bat. The freshman hit his 11th homer of the year, and the first of the World Series for Columbus State.
CSU kept its barrage going, as Frank Wager and Gunar Drinnen followed with singles to put runners on the corners with only one out. However, the Cougars were unable to bring another run across and the game stayed tied at two.
The Vikings responded in the sixth, getting a big two-out single that would ultimately prove to be the difference in the game.
Sheridan Coy and Jalen Latta put in strong work out of the bullpen to get the Cougars out of jams in the sixth and seventh innings, giving the offense chances to tie the game back up. The offense couldn’t muster anything though, getting just one baserunner over the final four frames.
Perez Knowles (8-4) surrendered just two earned runs in 5.2 innings in the start. Coy picked up a pair of outs, while Latta retired all seven hitters he faced.