Saint Augustine, FL – Navarro Hall extended his hitting streak to 17-games including hitting a two-run home run in the top of the eight inning to propel Columbus State to a 8-6 victory over Flagler in the second game of a Saturday Peach Belt Conference doubleheader. The game took place at Drysdale Field in Saint Augustine, Florida.
After Columbus State (29-20, 15-14 PBC) blew its second lead of the day, Brett Teschner singled with one-out in the top of the eighth for CSU's first hit since the fifth inning. On a 3-1 count, Hall hit his first career homerun as a Cougar down the rightfield line to give CSU an 8-6 lead.
Junior Patrick Devault, in just his seventh appearance of the season, shut the door on Flagler pitching a hitless eighth and ninth innings including inducing a game-ending double play to record his first victory of the season.
For the game, Devault (1-0) pitched 2.2 innings allowing just one hit while striking out a batter.
Columbus State took an early 5-0 lead including pushing across three runs in the third inning. After singles by Aaron Jividen and Cyle Rasmus to load the bases, a wild pitch by Max Krueter scored Garrett Houghton, who reached base on a fielder's choice. During the same at-bat, J.D. Pullen drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to leftfield.
Cameron Scott chased home the final run of the inning with a double into the right-centerfield gap.
The Cougars scored two runs in the fourth thanks to some shaky Saints defense. Hall led the frame off with a single and advance to second on a wild pitch. On a Logan Dollar grounder to third, Flagler third baseman Nate Fudala committed a throwing error allowing Hall to score and Dollar to advance to second.
Dollar would later cross the plate on a wild pitch.
After Flagler scored their first run of the game in the fourth inning on a double play, Teschner drove in Pullen in the fifth with a single through the right side of the infield giving the visitors a 6-1 lead.
From there, the wheels fell off for Columbus State starter Drew Dades. In the sixth, a single and two walks loaded the bases with one-out. After a balk scored a run for the Saints, a Daniel Stewart ground out to second brought another runner in to make the score 6-3. Devon Hellett brought Flagler (26-22, 12-17) one run closer with a RBI single through the left side of the infield.
Flagler continued their comeback in the seventh as Fudala led off the frame with a single and a walk that put the tying runs on base.
With one-out in the seventh, Devault came into the game and surrendered a game-tying double off the bat of Jay Laurienzo.
After the double, Devault retired the next two batters setting up Hall's heroics in the eighth.
Cyle Rasmus, Brett Teschner and Navarro Hall all had two hits in the game. Hall drove in two runs while Teschner, Cameron Scott and J.D. Pullen all had one RBI.
Drew Dades pitched 6.1 innings allowing six runs on seven hits. He walked four batters while striking out five.
It was the first time in nine games that Columbus State did not make a fielding error.
Jay Laurienzo was 1-for-2 for Flagler with two RBIs, two walks and scored twice. Cade Smith and John Sgromolo both had two hits for the Saints.
Max Krueter got the start for Flagler lasting four innings giving up five runs (four earned). Andrew Castello (1-1) suffered the loss allowing two runs in two innings.
Columbus State and Flagler will play the rubber match of the three-game series tomorrow afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m. With a victory, the Cougars will clinch the second seed from the PBC Western Division in the upcoming PBC Tournament.