Baseball: Cougars Set to Face Catawba in NCAA Regional on Thursday
Columbus, Ga. -- Columbus State will begin its quest of the Southeast Region championship on Wednesday when the team boards the bus at 8 a.m. for the trip to Florence, South Carolina. The Cougars are set to face South Atlantic Conference foe Catawba on Thursday in the first round of play at 3 p.m.
CSU, the #2 seed in the regional, finished the season on a roll, winning eight straight games and go into Thursday's contest as the highest ranked team in the six-team event. CSU (42-10) is fourth in the latest Collegiate Baseball Division II poll, a six-spot jump from last weekend's #10 ranking. Catawba (40-11) heads into Thursday's contest ranked #25.
CSU and Catawba have never met on the baseball diamond as the Cougars make the program's 22nd NCAA postseason appearance. Catawba is making the school's fifth appearance in the regional and third consecutive showing. The Indians won the South Atlantic Conference Tournament championship and gained an automatic berth.
The Cougars are led offensively by PBC Player of the Year Jason Rogers. The big first baseman has done it all for CSU, leading the team with a .422 average, 14 doubles, 26 homers, and 84 RBI. He has a lofty .897 slugging percentage and a .550 on-base average and has drawn 42 walks and stolen all 15 bases he has attempted. CSU enters the event with a .315 team batting average and a 3.80 team ERA.
Catawba is led by Wade Moore at the plate. Moore boasts a .426 average with 20 doubles, 16 homers, and 59 RBI. Right behind Moore is Craig Lyerly at .403 with 10 doubles, six triples, eight homers, and 53 RBI. The Indians hit .331 as a team and have a 4.48 team ERA.
Daily admission to the event is $5 for students and $8 for adults. The regional will be contested at Francis Marion University's Cormell Field. Fans should be aware that the entire FMU campus is smoke-free and that no pets will be allowed into the Cormell Field area.
Follow the tournament at FMU's tournament web page by clicking HERE