Cougars swept by Columbia State
by BRYAN GRISHAM CSCC Sports Information Director
Mar 23, 2014 | 447 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CLEVELAND STATE’S Evan Speicher tags a Columbia State baserunner during Saturday’s game. From CSCC Sports Information
CLEVELAND STATE’S Evan Speicher tags a Columbia State baserunner during Saturday’s game. From CSCC Sports Information
The Cleveland State baseball team ran into some outstanding pitching in their TCCAA Region VII three-game weekend series with Columbia State as the Cougars were swept by the Chargers.

The Chargers took game one on Friday 4-1 and then swept a twinbill on Saturday winning a pitcher's duel, 1-0 in game one on Saturday and then whitewashing the home team, 13-1 in game two to complete the sweep.

The Chargers got three great pitching performances from their starting staff as they allowed the Cougars only 11 hits and two runs in the three-game set while on the offensive side banged out 28 hits and 18 runs in the process.

The Cougars were held at bay for the second straight game in the first game of the twinbill on Saturday afternoon as Columbia State starting pitcher, Scooter Hightower tossed a complete game seven inning shutout at the home team limiting the Cleveland State bats to only 4 hits.

The Chargers got the only run that Hightower would need in the second inning as a single, a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a groundout to first base by Chase Howell pushed the only run of the game across.

Jake Wright tossed an outstanding game as he went the distance for the Cougars allowing only one run and four hits in the loss.

The Chargers kept right on rolling to start game two with a pair of runs in their first turn at the dish. Two walks, two singles and two wild pitches plated a run while a solo homer by Isaiah Aluko gave the visitors a 2-0 lead.

The Cougars finally got on the board in the bottom of the second inning as Cole Baxley dialed long distance for a solo home run to cut the lead in half, 2-1.

The Chargers tacked on a run in their half of the third and added another in the fourth on a Cougar miscue to push their lead to 4-1.

The Chargers exploded for nine big insurance runs in the top of the seventh as Tyler Fuller doubled in a pair of runs and Aluko crushed his second homer of the afternoon, this time a three-run shot to seal the win and the series sweep.

Tyler Stewart turned in another outstanding pitching performance for the Chargers allowing only one run and two hits in six innings of work while Austin Rice tossed the last inning in relief. Josh Morgan took the loss for the Cougars (13-15, 5-10) while Kegan Frederick, Raunel Perez, Kevin Carr and Gabe Rich all pitched in relief.

On Friday, the Chargers completely shut the Cougar bats down as Cody Puckett tossed seven plus strong innings allowing only three hits and one run to pick up the win.

The Chargers played long ball as Josh Wilson hit a solo homer in the second inning and Fuller did the same in the third for a 2-0 lead. Ronnie Jebavy singled in a run in the fifth and Riley Delgado doubled in another in the eighth to push the lead to 4-0.

The Cougars avoided the shutout with a run in the bottom of the eighth as Zach Janes picked up the RBI with a two-out single.

Kierce Kimbel got the last five outs for the Chargers to pick up the save and secure the win for Puckett (4-0). Bobby Towne (4-2) pitched into the eighth, but took the loss for the Cougars.

The Cougars will travel to Piedmont College on Monday for a pair of non-conference games and then host Georgia Highlands College on Wednesday for a twinbill.