Columbus State Bats Silenced by West Alabama
COLUMBUS – Jeb Huber threw seven innings of shutout ball and West Alabama scored the games first three runs as they won game two of a three game series over No. 11 Columbus State 3-1 Sunday afternoon at Ragsdale Field.
In a role reversal of game one yesterday which CSU won 8-2, the Tigers put one on the scoreboard in the first inning which began with a Ladarrius Cole single to leftfield. He moved up to second base on a groundout before crossing home plate on a double by Brian Simone
Columbus State threatened to answer back in the second inning after their first two batters reached base. Logan Dollar drew a walk followed by a Mitch Rider single down the leftfield line. Both runners were stranded as the next three hitters were retired.
Cole was at it again for the visitors in the top half of the third inning, this time pulling a ball between the first base and second base hole for a leadoff single. Cole was off and running on a 1-1 count and scored as Chris Duncan doubled to leftfield. West Alabama added an unearned run in the seventh inning when an errant throw by Noah Watkins wasn't handled on a steal attempt letting Jeremy Rice to score from third base.
Huber gave up a leadoff single to Eric Skinner in the third inning before retiring 13 of the next 15 batters with Skinner and Navarro Hall the only to reach base before he exited the game after seven innings of work.
The Cougars threatened in both the eighth and ninth innings but were just able to bring one across. In the eighth, Cameron Scott started a two-out rally being hit by a pitch followed by a Bruce Alter single to centerfield. Brian Burgess got out of the jam for UWA striking out the next batter.
Rider reached base on an error by the shortstop to begin the ninth inning. Eric Weiss then single to leftfield putting runners on first and second. After a strikeout, pinch-hitter Tyler Googe laced a single to leftfield plating Rider bringing the Cougars within two, 3-1. Skinner hit a chopper to third base and nearly beat out the long throw across the diamond, but Weiss and pinch-runner Aaron Jividen advanced to second and third. A strikeout ended the threat and gave Burgess his 26th career save, becoming the all-time leader in the Gulf South Conference.
Tyler Carpenter suffered the loss for the Cougars tossing five innings in his first collegiate appearance. He allowed two runs on five hits and one walk. The righty also struck out four. Brodie Leibrandt and Robby Nettles were solid in relief, each throwing two inning with Leibrandt giving up just one unearned run.
Cole and Simone each had a pair of hits for the Tigers to pace the UWA offense. Cole also scored two runs with Jeremy Rice scoring the other. Burgess threw two innings to pick up the save surrendering just one unearned run.
The series finale is just underway and can be followed through live stats. Columbus State travels to St. Leo, FL next weekend to take on St. Leo in a three game series. The two sides will play a double-header on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and a single game to wrap up the series on Sunday.