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.
The 19th-ranked Walters State Lady Senators held off the determined Cleveland State softball team as they swept the four game TCCAA Region VII Conference series at Lady Cougar Field on Friday and Saturday. The visitors pounded out 37 hits and crushed 8 home runs in the four-game set.
Walters State (23-5, 16-4) held off a late Lady Cougar (7-23, 4-16) rally to take an 8-6 win in game one on Saturday afternoon and then completed the sweep with a 12-2 win in game two. The Lady Senators needed extra inning to take game one of Friday, 4-3 and then erased a five-run deficit as they played long ball in game two for an 11-7 win.
Walters State jumped out to an early lead with a six-run outburst in the second inning of game one on Saturday as a pair of walks and a single loaded the bases for Andrea Eison who pushed a run across the hard way by getting plunked. Ashli Rogers then unloaded the bases with a triple while singles from Lauren Dreitlein and Kaylea Payne added a pair of runs for a 6-0 advantage.
The visitors added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth, but a late inning rally from the Lady Cougars made things interesting. Ashley Swaney singled in a run in the fourth to get the home team on the board. It was Swaney once again in the sixth coming up with the big hit, this time a two-run double while Tori Roberts followed with a run-scoring single to slice the lead in half at 8-4.
The Lady Cougars made more noise in their last at-bat in the bottom of the seventh. Three singles and a walk produced a run as Perry Hindi knocked a run in and another run crossed on a groundout from Hannah Powell cutting the lead to 8-6.
With the tying run on second base, the Lady Senators finally managed to put out the fire and hold on for the win. Taylor Green went the distance to get the win for Walters State while Allison Conley took the loss for Cleveland State.
The visitors wasted no time in game two as they put four runs on the board. Dreitlein belted a three-run homer over the left field fence while Sam Bowling added a solo homer to the cause.
The Lady Cougars got a run back in their half of the first as Miranda Smith singled and eventually scored on a groundout by Emily Huston.
The Lady Senators put the game on ice in the top of the sixth as Dreitlein belted her fourth home run of the series, this time a grand slam to push the lead to 8-1 and Eison added two more with a single in the seventh to cap off the win.
Emily Kendrick tossed seven strong innings allowing only four hits along the way to get the win for Walters State while Ida Watson and Alexa Perian pitched for Cleveland State.
In the first game of the series on Friday, the Lady Cougars took the powerful Lady Senators into extra innings before dropping a one-run decision.
The Lady Cougar's Ida Watson and Walters State's Green locked up in a pitchers duel in the first few innings as hits and runs were few and far between.
The Lady Senators jumped on top with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth as two walks and a single loaded the bases for Rodgers who coaxed a walk to force in the first run of the day while a second run crossed on a groundout for a 2-0 lead.
Walters State added a run in the top of the fifth as Amber Cook belted a solo homer, but the Lady Cougars came right back to tie the contest with a run in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the fifth. A dropped fly ball in the sun allowed a run to cross in the fourth and Hindi knocked in a pair of runs with a clutch two-out single in the fifth to knot the game at 3-3.
The score stayed right there the for the next several frames as an extra inning would be needed. A hit batter, a walk and a single loaded the bases for the Lady Senators in the top of the eighth and with two outs, Erin Roper singled a run home to break the tie and give the visitors a 4-3 lead. Green induced three groundouts in the bottom of the frame to secure the win. Ida Watson pitched well and went the distance in defeat for the Lady Cougars.
Five of the first six Lady Cougar batters singled in the bottom of the first in game two as the home team exploded for five big runs. Hindi singled in two runs to start the outburst, a wild pitch plated a run and a groundout and collision at first base allowed two more runs to cross as Roberts picked up an RBI the hard way for a 5-0 lead.
The Lady Senators made some noise in the top of the third as they got back in the game in a hurry. Four singles and a sacrifice fly would account for four big runs as Olivia Lawson and Amber Cook had a RBI each while Kendi King singled in two more to slice the lead to 5-4.
The Lady Cougars picked up a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth as once again it was Hindi coming up with the big hit, an RBI single to right field while a second run scampered home on a throwing error by the Lady Senators as the lead moved to 7-4.
Dreitlein led off the fifth with a solo homer while a second run crossed on a Lady Cougar miscue as the Lady Senators cut the lead to one run once again. The visitors then took the lead for good an inning later as Eison belted a two-run homer and Dreitlein crushed her second dinger of the day, also a two run shot while Lawson joined the home run derby with a solo round-tripper to put Walters State on top 11-7.
Kendrick went the distance to get the win for Walters State while Kelsey Haley started and Watson took the loss in relief for Cleveland State.
Cleveland State will host Piedmont College on Tuesday.