Another Late Inning Comeback for Cougars
SOURCE: CSU ATHLETICS
In the opening game of the weekend series, the Columbus State University baseball team pulled off yet another comeback win, taking down Lander 7-5. The Peach Belt Conference game was played at Dolny Stadium.
Columbus State (15-6, 5-2 PBC) trailed 5-2 heading to the top of the seventh inning when three straight hits plated two runs to cut into the deficit. Grant Berry and Matthew McDade hit back-to-back triples for the Cougars before a Drew Webb single made it a 5-4 game.
CSU finished the late comeback in the eighth thanks to two hit batters which both came home courtesy of a Berry single.
“Kolton didn’t quite have his best stuff tonight and we got off to another slow start,” said head coach Greg Appleton. “But once again, this team never feels out of it in the dugout. We strung together timely hits and got the series opener so we’ll take it and move on to tomorrow.”
Lander (8-16, 4-6 PBC) opened the scoring in the first with a two-out rally that resulted in a run coming across off an error. But Columbus State would immediately respond grabbing the 2-1 lead courtesy of a McDade home run, his second long ball this season.
That would be the last run for the Cougars until the late rally. The Bearcats scored four unanswered, including putting runs across in three straight innings to take the 5-2 lead after six innings of play.
Starter Kolton Ingram exited after six innings with ten strikeouts leaving it up to the bullpen to put up zeroes. Russell Forthofer (1-0) came in for CSU in the seventh going three up three down to put himself in position for the win.
In the eighth and with a Cougar lead, Devin Dudal came in for another six-out save. After picking up the save in the same scenario on Wednesday, Dudal started off hot once again. Two strikeouts and a groundout sent the game to the ninth with CSU needing just three more outs to seal the deal.
But the Michigan product would run into trouble in the ninth. After a leadoff strikeout, the Bearcats got a double and a walk on top of getting the runners to second and third with only one out. Yet Dudal wouldn’t be deterred. The sophomore snatched a strikeout and then a groundout for the final two outs, giving him his sixth save this season. The six saves for Dudal puts him atop the entire Peach Belt Conference.
McDade finished 2-for-3 at the plate picking up three RBI’s while scoring twice. Berry also grabbed two hits himself scoring three times to go along with two RBI’s.
Webb and Garrett Kirkwood each snagged two hits themselves, as those four hitters accounted for all eight of the Cougar hits.
Columbus State and Lander will play the second game of the three-game series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.