AMERICUS - The Georgia Southwestern baseball team was a close play at the plate away from completing a five-run comeback against No. 16 Columbus State on Sunday afternoon at Hurricane Stadium. GSW's Evan Alderman was called out trying to score from second on a Stephen Eldridge single to right field in the eighth inning and by adding an insurance run in the ninth, CSU went on to defeat the Hurricanes, 9-7.
Southwestern sees its current losing streak extended to seven games and falls to 10-27 overall and 5-19 in the PBC. Columbus State improves to 31-11 overall and remains atop the PBC at 19-5.
GSW had four batters finish with multiple hits. Alderman collected two hits and improved his season batting average to .398. Alderman has a hit in 19 of his last 20 games. Eldridge added another two-hit performance. Neal Chambless and Devyn Newberry finished with two hits apiece. Newberry extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
CSU was led at the plate by three-hit performances from Jackson and Carson Bowers. Brandan Collins, Dustin Averett, Mike McClellan, Blaine Miller and Matt Nettles added two hits apiece for the Cougars.
GSW starter Zach Smith (2-4) struggled and was pulled after allowing three consecutive hits to open the second inning. Coty Graham followed with six innings of solid relief. Graham held CSU to three runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out two. Earl Dupree, called on for the fifth straight game, threw the final two innings. Dupree surrendered one run and two hits while walking one and striking out one.
CSU starter Bryan Headley (8-1) lasted 5 1/3 innings. Headley gave up six runs - five earned - and eight hits, walked two and registered two strikeouts. Shawn Thomas followed with 1 1/2 innings of scoreless relief. Sean Muller allowed a run and four hits in his inning of work before Trey Watson closed the door on GSW's comeback with two strikeouts in the ninth for his eighth save of the season.
Southwestern returns to the diamond on Tuesday to host Auburn Montgomery at 6 p.m.