Columbus, GA - Columbus State pounded out 17 hits and got
quality pitching from Anthony Arrington as it completed a Peach
Belt Conference series sweep with an 11-1 win at Ragsdale Field on
Sunday. The Cougars move to 27-7 overall and 12-6 in PBC play
with the win,
while the Hurricanes fall to 9-15 overall and 3-9 in league play in their first season in the PBC.
Billy Howard ran his hitting streak to 19 games in the first inning as he laced an RBI double down the right field line to score Jonnie Geiger with the game's first run. Geiger had led off with a single to left off GSW starter Austin Smith. The Cougars tacked on two more runs
in the second inning, taking advantage of a throwing error. Brian Gordon was aboard when David Brown doubled and they both came home a batter later as Tommy Rice's throw was wide at first base.
CSU got a single run in the fifth as Howard plated Geiger again with a groundout to make it 4-0. The Cougars added three more in the sixth, ignited by Rodney Rutherford's long homerun down the left field line to lead off the frame. Howard singled in Trent Bianco who had followed
Rutherford's blast with a double, and he later came home on a balk to make it 7-0.
The Cougars added a single run in the seventh on David Brown's single to score Brandon Masters, and then put the game away with three runs in the eighth. Brad Bowen, Bianco, and Brown each had RBI hits in the inning to make it 11-0.
The Hurricanes broke up the shutout in the ninth. Blake Norrell started the inning on the mound for CSU, getting a groundout followed by a single and a walk. He left the game with an injury, giving way to Paul Able. Able walked the bases loaded, then got a strikeout for the second out, before issuing his second walk to Rusty James to push in a run and make it 11-1. Able got Carlos Height looking to end the game.
Arrington moved his season record to 6-0 with seven strong innings. He walked three and fanned five in allowing just four hits on the day. Johnny Floyd pitched a perfect eighth with a strikeout. Smith took the loss for the Hurricanes, allowing 10 hits in 5.2 innings with two
walks and two strikeouts. he allowed seven runs, five of which were earned. Ryan Lackey and Justin Hilliard finished up for GSW.
Geiger and Brown led the CSU offense with three hits each. Geiger stole his 23rd base and scored a pair of runs, while Brown had his sixth double and two RBI. Howard, Drew Candlin, Brad Linton, and Bianco each added two hits. Howard drove in three runs.
Shane Newmans collected three of the 'Canes' five hits on the day, going 3-3.