DAHLONEGA, Ga. -- Columbus State jumped on North Georgia early and built a six-run lead in the second inning, but the Cougars couldn't hold on and lost 7-6 on Friday afternoon.
CSU began Friday's opener against North Georgia tied with Lander for first place in the Peach Belt Conference standings at 21-6. Lander beat Armstrong Atlantic 3-2 Friday night to take a one-game lead.
The Cougars scored four times in the top of the first. After back-to-back walks to Jackson Oliver and Jimmy Obermark, Dustin Averett hit a three-run homer.
After Averett's homer, CSU (34-14) loaded the bases on two singles and a hit batter. Matt Nettles became the second batter to be hit with a pitch, forcing in the fourth run.
Oliver walked to lead off the second and Obermark singled. Averett followed with a single to left to drive in Oliver. After a sacrifice bunt, Mike McClellan grounded out, driving in Obermark for a 6-0 lead.
North Georgia (20-24, 8-17) started its comeback in the bottom of the second as Ryan Raper led off with a homer.
The Knight Hawks scored four in the third to climb back into the game. Andrew Gordon had the big blow with a two-run double.
North Georgia tied the game in the sixth on Joey Cecere's run-scoring single.
Sean Muller replaced McGinnity on the mound for CSU. After a pair of groundouts, Raper walked. Gordon followed with a double down the left field line to drive in Raper with the go-ahead run.
The Cougars managed just four hits over the final seven innings.
The two teams meet again at 1 p.m. Saturday for the first game of a doubleheader. Lander will also host Armstrong Atlantic for a doubleheader Saturday.
Columbus State and Lander did not play this season. Each PBC team played 10 of the other 12 teams in the league.