Owens' five RBIs power Lander
Bearcats finish sweep of Columbus St., extend win streak to eight
GREENWOOD, S.C. -- Jordan Owens drove in five runs as first-place Lander extended its winning streak to eight, completing a Peach Belt Conference series sweep against No. 9 Columbus State 11-7 on Sunday afternoon at Dolny Stadium.
Lander, which swept a double-header from the Cougars on Saturday, improved to 21-6 overall and 10-2 in the PBC. The Bearcats have won 14 of their last 15 overall.
Columbus State fell to 17-10 on the season, including a 6-6 mark in league action.
Michael White (3-0) was the winning pitcher in relief for Lander, tossing 2.2 hitless innings with three strikeouts.
Will Casey (2-2) absorbed the loss for the Cougars.
Juan Montana and Colby Painter led the Bearcats at the plate, each going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Owens was 2-for-4 with five RBI, and Patrick Grady sparked Lander again by going 2-for-3 with two stolen bases, two runs scored and two RBI on bases-loaded walks.
Eric Weiss led Columbus at the plate, going 3-for-4. J.D. Pullen, Brett Teschner and Cameron Scott had two hits apiece while Navarro Hall had three RBI.
Lander took a 1-0 lead in the first when Grady hit a two-out single, stopped at second on Kevin Starr's single, and scored on a single to right by Owens.
The Bearcats increased their lead to 2-0 in the third when Starr drew a two-out walk, stopped at second when Owens reached on an error, moved to third when Aaron Poole walked, and scored on a wild pitch.
Lander added four runs in the fourth when Montana, Painter and Ian Harvey singled to load the bases (Montana scored on an errant throw), Grady walked to force in a run, and Starr and Owens had RBI ground outs to make it 6-0.
Meanwhile, the Cougars wasted Pullen's leadoff double in the first inning, had runners on second and third with one out in the second but failed to score, hit into a double play in the fourth, and loaded the bases with one out in the fifth but lined into an inning-ending double play.
Columbus finally took advantage of a scoring opportunity in the sixth, scoring six times to tie. The Cougars loaded the bases with nobody out when Teschner doubled, and Scott and Weiss walked. After Cameron Griffin fouled out to third, Logan Dollar hit a double play ball to second that could have ended the inning if turned. But an error by the second baseman scored two runs, Pullen walked to reload the bases, Hall hit a three-run double into the left-field corner, and Corbitt tied it with a run-scoring single to right. Five of the runs were unearned.
The Bearcats regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Grady smacked a leadoff single, moved to second on Starr's ground out, stole third, and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Owens.
Columbus retied the game again in the top of the seventh when Scott and Weiss hit back-to-back singles and moved up on a wild pitch. One out later, Kevan Dorsey drove in the tying run when he grounded out on a slow roller to first.
But, once again, Lander responded. This time, the Bearcats scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to take an 11-7 lead and pretty much put the game away. Montana and Painter singled, and moved up on Harvey's sacrifice bunt. AJ Nunziato walked to load the bases, and Grady's walk forced home the go-ahead run. Weston Lawing hit a sacrifice fly to right, and after Grady stole second, Owens drilled a two-run single to right.
Then White shut the door on Columbus, striking out the side in the eighth and retiring the side in order again in the ninth.
Lander starter Cory Hopper allowed six runs, but only one earned, on 10 hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out three. Scott Elitzky faced three batters in relief, retiring one on a strikeout.
Cougars starter Tyler Carpenter allowed six runs, five earned, on seven hits in four innings. He struck out six and walked four. Casey allowed five runs on five hits in 2.2 innings while Hart Mizell pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings.