DEMORST, Ga. — The Cleveland State baseball team crossed the mountains and invaded Piedmont College Monday afternoon and came home with a sweep of their doubleheader with the Lions. The Cougars broke open a tie game in the seventh inning of game one to win 8-5 and pounded out 12 hits in game two to complete the sweep with a 10-3 win.
The Cougars jumped on top in their first turn at the plate in game one with three big runs. Cody Hiefnar singled in the first run of the day, Jared Davis singled in another while one more crossed on a Lion miscue.
The Lions bounced back to tie the game with three of their own in the second on a double from Austin Tench, a fielders choice and an error.
Cleveland State see-sawed back into the lead an inning later when Hiefnar air mailed a two-run homer over the left field fence for a 5-3 lead. Breck Davidson tied the game for the Lions once again in the bottom of the frame with a two-run dinger.
The middle innings remained scoreless until the Cougars exploded for three big runs in the top of the seventh. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Keith Buckhault who promptly unloaded them with a ringing triple to right field to give the visitors an 8-5 lead.
Tyler Kilgore started on the mound for the Cougars while Thomas Huddleston picked up the win and Andre Wilson added the save. Matt Stephens suffered the loss for the Lions.
“We swung the bats well today,” stated Cougars coach Mike Policastro. “Buckhault came up with the big two-out hit and Huddleston did a good job coming out of the pen to get the win. Chandler did a good job holding them down in game two and we had a big inning to get the win.”
A six run second inning would be all the run support the Cougar pitchers would need in game two. Zach Janes singled in a run, DeAndre Allen tripled in two more, J.D. Cowart forced one across on a fielders choice and Evan Speicher and Chase Edwards capped the outburst with an RBI single each for a 6-0 lead.
Hiefnar singled, stole second and scored on a single by Buckhault in the third while the Cougars added two more in the fifth and a another in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Edwards to finish the day.
The Lions avoided the shutout with a run in the fourth as Davidson tripled and scored on a groundout and then added two more in the sixth as Tyler Marcinko doubled in a run and Will Skidmore singled in one as well.
Derek Chandler picked up the win for the Cougars (7-3) while Jeb Scoggins, Jordan Whitmire and Bobby Towne all pitched in relief. Scott Burkhaulter took the loss for the Lions.
Cleveland State will host Walters State for a non-conference doubleheader on Saturday at noon.