Bouton, Latta Help Cougars to 6-1 Win Over Flagler
SOURCE: CSU ATHLETICS
Freshman Isaac Bouton drove in four, including hitting his first collegiate home run, while Jalen Latta tossed another impressive pitching performance as the Columbus State University baseball team grabbed a 6-1 win over Flagler Friday evening. The first game of the Peach Belt Conference series took place at Ragsdale Field at Burger King Stadium in Columbus.
In a 1-1 game in the bottom of the fifth, leadoff singles by Matthew McDade and Connor Kirley put the Cougars (8-3, 3-1 PBC) in business. After a FC pitching change, Bouton greeted Ethan Jones with a three-run shot deep over the left-field wall to put CSU ahead 4-1.
That would be plenty for Latta. After stranding the bases loaded full of Saints in the sixth thanks to a two-out strikeout, the southpaw pitched around a one-out hit in the seventh to complete his day. Miles Dutton would throw the final two innings.
“This was a great way to open up another critical early-season series,” commented head coach Greg Appleton. “Jalen continues to throw the ball well for us, and Isaac gave us plenty of pop at the plate. It’s good to see the hits start coming for him because he has been making solid contact throughout the season.”
“Tomorrow is another big day. It would be nice to wrap up the series win and give ourselves a shot at another sweep.”
Latta (2-1) won his second consecutive start for the Cougars. The Columbus native allowed one run over his seven innings of work. He struck out eight while pitching around six hits and one walk. Dutton allowed two base runners in his two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Flagler (9-3, 2-2) got to Latta in the opening inning after the first two batters reached base. An Adam Mitchell sacrifice fly put the Saints ahead 1-0 just three batters in the game.
From there, Latta would settle in. Only three Saints would reach from the second until the sixth, with one getting to first via a catcher’s interference call.
In the bottom of the third, Columbus State tied things up. David Meadows legged on an infield hit before causing havoc on the base paths. The junior caused an errant pickoff attempt to move up to second while a balk advanced him to third. Bouton took advantage, lifting a flyball to right field for the sacrifice fly.
After Bouton gave CSU the lead with the three-run bomb in the fifth, Robert Brooks got in on the longball action. The junior bashed a two-run blast to add to the lead.
Flagler got two runners on in the ninth, but that was it as the Cougars went on for the win.
Brooks (2-for-4, 2-run HR) and Dane Bullock (2-for-3, BB) both had two hits in the game for Columbus State. In addition to his four RBIs, Bouton scored twice.
Columbus State and Flagler met in the middle game of the series on Saturday. First pitch is at 2 p.m. at Ragsdale Field at Burger King Stadium.
Cougar Trends & Notes
- Over his last three starts, Latta has pitched 20 innings allowing just three earned runs for a 1.35 ERA. The senior has struck out 21 in the stretch.
- It was the third game this season that Latta has record eight strikeouts.
- Bouton becomes the second Cougar this year to drive in four in a game. Bryson Horne had a four-RBI game against UNC Pembroke on Feb. 15.
- Dane Bullock, McDade, and Meadows have reached base safely in all 11 games this season.
- It was just the third time this season Flagler has given up six or more runs in a game.
- The Cougars have hit two home runs in each of the previous three games.
- It was Brooks’ first home run of the 2020 season. The junior catcher entered the year with 21 career homers in a Cougar uniform.