Three early runs, Kuhlenberg's relief effort help Columbus St. trip West Fla.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Columbus State scored three runs in the first and got a solid relief effort from Matthew Kuhlenberg to defeat sixth-ranked West Florida 5-3 to salvage a two-game split on Wednesday.
In the bottom of the first, the Cougars started the game with five consecutive hits, including run-scoring base hits by Cameron Scott and Brett Teschner. Ryan Lewis singled to get things going and J.D. Pullen beat out a bunt single in the next at-bat. Scott then sent a deep double into right field to drive home Lewis. Teschner followed with a shot down the first-base line to cap off the scoring.
West Florida (21-5) starter Josh Tanski then settled down after allowing yet another base hit, getting a strikeout and two groundball outs to escape further damage.
The Argos managed to get a hit in both the second and third innings but the Cougars turned a double play in both frames to help Sean Muller keep UWF off the board.
However, West Florida put up a run in the fourth thanks to a two-out rally. After Muller got the first two outs of the side, Cliff Covington singled through the right side of the infield. Jeremy Bajdaun followed by lacing a ball off the left-center field wall to make it a 2-1 game.
Columbus State (12-13) came right back with a run of its own in the bottom of the fourth. Martin Castro drew a walk and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jividen. Needing a big hit, Lewis delivered with a line drive over the second baseman's head to chase home Castro.
West Florida knocked out Muller in the fifth as Chase Kiefer singled to lead off the frame. The next batter, Kyle Hamner, chopped a ball back to Muller on the mound where he decided to go to second to get the lead runner. However, his throw was low allowing everyone to be safe. After a sacrifice bunt, Dustin Saulmon sent one right back up the middle bringing the score to 4-3.
|WEST FLORIDA VS. COLUMBUS STATE|
|Strikeouts (by pitchers)||4||9|
Kuhlenberg (1-1) then entered the game and picked off Saulmon for the second out of the inning. After a walk, a chopper in front of the plate ended the fifth for the Cougars. He shut down the Argos from there, allowing just one runner to reach second base in his 3.2 innings of hitless work. He issued three walks while striking out four on his way to picking up his first collegiate victory.
The Cougars added an insurance run in the eighth as Jimmy Obermark reached base on his third base hit of the game. With two outs, he stole second allowing him to score on a Castro double just past the third base bag, pushing the score to 5-3.
Hart Mizell closed it out for the Cougars, picking up his third save of the season.
J.D. Pullen had a perfect day at the plate going 4-for-4 while Jimmy Obermark was 3-for-4. Ryan Lewis finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI and Brett Teschner extended his hitting streak to 11 games going 1-for-4 and driving in a pair of runs.
Josh Tanski (2-1) suffered the loss for West Florida, lasting four innings and allowing four runs on seven hits. Dayan Rodriguez pitched well in relief allowing just one run during 3.2 innings.
Jeremy Bajdaun and Chase Kiefer ended the night 2-for-4 for West Florida.