No. 17 Pirates Lose Pair Of Heartbreakers At No. 4 Columbus State
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The No. 17-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University baseball squad dropped a pair of heartbreakers in Peach Belt Conference action on Sunday at No. 4 Columbus State, losing 7-6 and 10-8 to wrap up the weekend series at Ragsdale Field in Columbus, Ga.
Armstrong falls to 8-4 overall and 0-3 in the Peach Belt with the losses, while Columbus State moves to 11-3 overall and 4-2 in the league.
Game one saw the Cougars put up four runs in the second inning for a quick 4-0 lead, but the Pirates answered back with a pair of runs in the fourth inning on a wild pitch that scored Zach Taylor and an RBI groundout from Clayton Miller.
Columbus State scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to build a 7-2 advantage, but Armstrong rallied with a big ninth inning. A two-RBI single by Casey Maloney and a two-RBI double by Cody Powell brought Armstrong within one run, 7-6, with the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second but starter Brodie Liebrandt got Clayton Miller to fly out to right field for the final out of the game.
Liebrandt improved to 4-0 on the season for the Cougars with the complete-game 10-hitter, giving up six runs and walking seven while striking out three. Ethan Bader (3-1) took the loss for the Pirates, giving up 10 hits and seven runs - five earned - in 6 1/3 innings, walking one while striking two.
In game two, the Pirates built an 8-3 lead against Columbus State with two runs in the second inning on a two-RBI single from Mike Barnhill, two in the third inning on back-to-back home runs by Taylor and Alex Frederick and three runs in the fourth on a two-RBI single by Taylor and an RBI single by Frederick.
Columbus State started its comeback with two runs in the fifth and added a run with an RBI groundout in the sixth. The Cougars took the lead with four runs in the eighth on a balk, a wild pitch and a two-RBI single by Brett Techner.
Armstrong put two runners on in the ninth but reliever Hart Mizell entered the game and retired the only batter he faced to preserve the two-run win.
Reliever Travis Morris (0-1) took the loss for the Pirates, giving up the go-ahead run in the eighth by walking the only batter he faced. Bronson Ganger (1-0) picked up the win in relief for the Cougars, hurling 1 2/3 innings of one-hit shutout ball, walking two while striking out one.
Taylor led the Pirates in the doubleheader at the plate by going 5-for-10 with four runs scored and two RBIs, while Frederick went 4-for-7 with three walks and two RBIs.
J.D. Pullen went 4-for-9 with two RBIs to lead the Cougars, while Cyle Rasmus went 3-for-5 with four RBIs.
Armstrong returns to action on Saturday, March 3, hosting Georgia Southwestern in an 11:00 a.m. Peach Belt Conference doubleheader at Pirate Field.