Cougars Drop Opening Game of Series
SOURCE: CSU ATHLETICS
The Columbus State University baseball team opened up their Peach Belt Conference series against UNC Pembroke with an 8-1 loss. The game took place Friday afternoon at Sammy Cox Field.
Nile Ball (4-2) pitched a complete game for the Braves out-dueling Kolton Ingram who picked up just his first loss of the season. The senior struck out six batters in five innings of work for the Cougars.
“It was a disappointing way to start the series against the Braves,” said head coach Greg Appleton. “Credit to their starting pitcher for going the distance but we squandered opportunities when we had runners on the paths. It doesn’t get any easier tomorrow but we’ve prepared ourselves well in nonconference to be ready for these long road conference swings.”
Columbus State (12-5) and Ingram held the Braves scoreless heading to the bottom of the fourth inning when UNCP led off with a solo home run from Elijah Helton to plate the run first of the game. The scoring wouldn’t stop there as the Braves collected three consecutive hits following the home run along with a sac-fly to take the 3-0 advantage through four.
The Cougars would get their chance in the following frame after two singles and a walk loaded the bases for CSU with just one out and the top of the lineup at the plate. But a foul out by Kendall Ford and a strikeout from Garrett Kirkwood left the runners stranded and Columbus State scoreless.
UNC Pembroke would add one more run in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of three consecutive singles before Ingram (3-1) got the final two outs of his outing from a 6-3 double play to end the inning.
In the sixth the Cougars would get their first and only run of the game from Dane Bullock. After two CSU outs on just two pitches, the junior demolished a 1-1 pitch into left center giving him his fourth home run of the season. Bullock has homered in back to back games for CSU.
Bullock finished 1-for-3 at the plate with the solo home run while Ford and Drew Webb each collected two hits on the afternoon.
The loss snapped a ten game winning streak for the Cougars. CSU will play game two of the series Saturday, March 9th. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Sammy Cox Field.