AUGUSTA – The nineteenth ranked Columbus State baseball team opened up Peach Belt Conference play dropping a doubleheader to Augusta State Saturday at Lake Olmstead Stadium. The Jaguars took game one 6-5 in 12 innings and then swept the twin bill winning game two 6-3.
In the first game of the day, Columbus State was able to strike early posting three runs in the first inning. Ryan Lewis led the game off with a single to rightfield and later scored on a fielder's choice by Bruce Alter. Mitch Rider followed up the fielder's choice with a single before Eric Skinner reached on an error by the Augusta State third baseman to load the bases. Cameron Scott took advantage of the miscue singling through the right side plating Alter and Rider for a 3-0 CSU advantage.
The Jaguars were able to respond in the bottom of the frame by playing small ball. Caleb Saggus drew a walk and then stole second base. He then advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt and crossed home on a RBI groundout by Andy Anufrak making it a 3-1 contest.
CSU had a pair of base runners on the next two innings but were unable to tack on to their lead.
Augusta State then struck for a big inning in the bottom of the third inning to take a 5-3 lead. A single, hit by pitch and single loaded the bases for Curtis Parker who delivered a two-run double through the left side. Back-to-back strike outs brought the Cougars to within an out of getting out of the jam but Menelik Vereen singled two runs in through the left side to give the hosts the advantage.
Columbus State again threatened in the fourth inning having the bases loaded but was unable to get the big hit.
They finally broke through in the fifth inning as they were able to knot the game at five all. Scoop Pharr brought home Skinner on a single through the right side bringing them within one. Aaron Jividen then had a bunt single to put runners on first and second. Lewis followed that up with a double to leftfield plating Pharr.
With runners on second and third and one out, Augusta State made a pitching change to Matt Blume who was able to get out of the inning unscathed forcing a groundout and recording a strikeout.
Both pitching staffs would settle down and limit the offensive chances. Neither team had more than one base runner in a single inning the remainder of the game and no one advanced passed second base until the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 12th inning.
Mike Smith reached on a two-out bunt single and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. The third baseman then scored on a single up the middle by Casey Hanrahan.
The Cougars left 13 runners on base throughout the game as they registered 14 hits on the afternoon. Lewis went 3-for-6 at the plate with a run scored and a RBI. Logan Dollar, Rider and Skinner all had two hits for CSU as well.
Campbell started the game working six innings allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. Brain Satterfield was lights out in relief recording five shutout innings while giving up just three hits. Tyler Carpenter got two quick outs in the 12th inning before allowing the game-winning run as the freshman suffered his second loss of the season.
Wilson Taylor picked up the win in relief for Augusta State tossing three innings of shutout ball. The ASU bullpen worked 7 2/3 innings without surrendering a run to Columbus State. Saggus and Justin Thigpen had the only multi-hit performances for the Jaguars.
Augusta State was able to strike first this time pushing across two runs in the bottom of the second inning which began with a Hanrahan single through the left side. The catcher was able to score all the way from first base on a double by Jeff Rice. After two walks and a flyout, Saggus knocked in the second run on a groundout to first base.
The Jaguars tacked on two more runs, one in the third inning and one in the fourth inning to extend their lead to 4-0 after four full innings of play. Rice singled in the third run of the game while Onufrak had a RBI groundout in the fourth inning for ASU.
Columbus State had their first two batters reach in the sixth inning via a single and a walk, respectively. After a strikeout, Dollar singled up the middle to score Jividen. Unfortunately, a groundout and a foul out ended the threat for the Cougars.
ASU responded back in the bottom half of the inning as they took advantage of a defensive miscue by Columbus State. Curtis Parker had the big blow smacked a one-out double to leftfield giving the hosts a 6-1 lead after six innings.
The Cougars cut the deficit in half in the eighth inning which began with a Jividen single. After a flyout, Cameron Scott doubled to rightfield driving in Jividen. Dollar followed that up with a single through the right side to plate Scott.
Another pitching change saved the Jaguars as it ended the rally by Columbus State.
Iain Sebastian suffered working four innings while allowing four runs on five hits and five walks. His record fell to 2-2 on the season. Dollar (three hits) and Jividen (two hits) combined for five of the seven Columbus State hits in game two.
Saggus was 3-for-4 while Rice was 2-for-4 for Augusta State to lead their offensive attack. Scott Shipman upped his mark to 2-1 on the year tossing 7.1 innings surrendering four runs on seven hits and two walks. Josh Barks closed out the contest throwing 1.2 innings of shutout ball.
The two sides will face off in the series finale tomorrow afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Lake Olmstead Stadium.