The Chargers struck the scoreboard first with a run in the top of the fourth inning when Justin Pearson doubled in a run. The Cougars benefited from a Columbia State miscue in the bottom of the frame after Austin Townes singled with one out and came around to score to tie the game at 1-1.
The Cougars took the lead an inning later. Derek Shugart drew a free pass to get things started, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Grant Zawadzki, to third on a ground out, then scored on a wild pitch.
Cleveland State (21-21, 8-12) expanded its lead in the sixth sending nine hitters to the plate against four different Charger pitchers with three of them crossing the plate. Three straight singles produced the first run as Jeff Embree picked up an RBI while Cody Commons pushed another run across on a force out. Zawadzki singled in the third run of the inning as the lead grew to 5-1.
A Cleveland State miscue and a stolen base in the top of the eighth led to an RBI single from Kyle Brochu. But, the Cougars got that run back plus one in their half of the inning. Embree got plunked with a pitch to start the rally and eventually scored on a two-out single back through the middle from Gray Hutchinson. Zawadzki walked and later scored as a pick-off play at third ended up in left field for a 7-2 Cougar advantage.
That would be all the run support that Harper required. The Cougar hurler tossed eight plus innings to pick up the win, scattering nine hits and fanning seven Chargers along the way. Jared Burton came on in the ninth with the bases loaded to record the final out. Clint Wright took the loss for Columbia State.
The Cougars will travel to Harriman next weekend for a conference series with Roane State.