MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – In a back-and-forth contest, the No. 6 Georgia College baseball team (25-6, 12-4 PBC) rallied in the bottom of the ninth but fell short to No. 25 Columbus State University (27-10, 15-5 PBC), 8-7 Friday night at John Kurtz Field.
The game started out with both pitchers dominant, neither team scoring in the first three frames. CSU broke the scoreless drought with a solo home run from Dustin Averett in the fourth.
The Bobcats answered right back with a two-run double from designated hitter Taylor Hinshaw (Winder, Ga.) one of two doubles on the day for the senior. Columbus State tied the game in the fifth and took the lead again in the seventh on a two-run blast to right center from Mike McClellan.
Down 4-2 in the seventh, catcher Steve Hazel (Kentwood, Mich.) got another rally started with a leadoff home run, the sixth of the season for the junior. The Bobcats manufactured two more runs, one on an infield single from Rob Hogenkamp (St. Louis) and another coming in on a Cougar error.
Two run-scoring doubles, a sacrifice fly and an RBI single gave the Cougars an 8-5 lead in the eighth. Georgia College rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth, pulling them within one, but could inch no closer.
Hinshaw, Hogenkamp and first baseman Clay Ardeeser (Loganville, Ga.) had two hits each, with Hinshaw and Hogenkamp adding a pair of RBI apiece.
Reliever Sean Muller (3-1) got the win, despite allowing two earned runs in an inning of work. Trey Watson got the last out for his sixth save. Micah Thompson (Tallapoosa, Ga.) fell to 2-2 in the loss. Bobcat starter Justin Blue (Mulberry, Fla.) went seven innings with six strikeouts, allowing three earned runs.
The Bobcats finish the series with Columbus State tomorrow in doubleheader action, beginning at 1 p.m.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.