(Update) Columbus State falls to Lander in regional final


GREENWOOD, S.C. — Columbus State forced Lander into a second game on Sunday night, but the Cougars couldn’t finish the sweep, losing 5-2 in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional final.

CSU won the first championship game in the double-elimination tournament 19-5 on Sunday. The start of that game was delayed six hours by rain. Game 2 started at 11:05 p.m.

When it started, the Cougars picked up where they left off and scored a pair of runs in the top of the first inning.

Brendan Collins led off the game with a homer. Jackson Oliver drew a walk and Jimmy Obermark singled.

Dustin Averett, who had to leave the first game after getting hit in the throat when a wild pitch bounced up and hit him, singled to right field to score Oliver.

But Mike McClellan popped up and Carson Bowers hit into a double play to end the threat.

Lander bounced back and tied the game in the bottom of the first. Taylor Cato walked the first two batters he faced, but then it looked like he would escape when he got the next two out.

But Weston Lawing doubled down the left-field line to score both base-runners.

CSU looked like it would score again in the second as Blake Edwards led off with a single. After a sacrifice bunt and a fly out, Collins singled, allowing Edwards to go to third. Oliver struck out to end the inning.

CSU managed only one hit the rest of the game against Dylan Wolchik (12-1). Bowers got a hit with two outs in the ninth. Starting with Oliver's strikeout to end the second, Wolchik retired 19 straight batters.

Mike McGinnity (7-2) replaced Cato to start the bottom of the fourth. Graham Ramos reached on an error by second baseman Jimmy Obermark. Colby Painter followed with a double to right center to score Ramos for a 3-2 lead.

Lander added two more runs in the seventh.

CSU ends the season at 40-17. Lander (51-7) will open play in the Division II world series in Cary, N.C., on Saturday.

Game 1

GREENWOOD, S.C. -- Columbus State trailed 5-0 after two innings against top-seeded Lander, but the Cougars rebounded with 19 straight runs to beat Lander 19-5 in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Sunday night.

The Cougars' win forced a second championship game, which was played late Sunday night.

The winner of that game earns a berth in the Division II world series, which starts Saturday at Cary, N.C.

The first game was scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Sunday, but the start time was pushed back six times as officials waited for the rain to stop. The game finally got underway at 7 p.m.

CSU battled back and scored a single run in the third and three more in the fourth.

The Cougars blew the game open with seven runs in the fifth for an 11-5 lead.

Only two of those seven runs were earned as the Bearcats made three errors in the inning.

CSU scored eight more time in the eighth to complete the rout. Only two of those were earned.

In total, 12 of CSU's runs were unearned as Lander made six errors.

Lander had a 20-game win streak snapped with the loss.

CSU got two excellent performances from its bullpen.

Starter Caden Ferguson gave up four runs in just two-thirds of an inning. He hit three batters and walked one.

Jordan Villhauer took over and got the final out of the first. He finished giving up one run on one hit in 3 1-3 innings.

Jake Ezell (1-1) finished the last five innings and earned the win. He didn't allow a hit and struck out six.

Carson Bowers led CSU at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs.

Brendan Collins, Jimmy Obermark, Mike McClellan and Matt Nettles had two hits apiece.

Collins drove in four runs. Obermark, McClellan and Nettles knocked in two runs apiece.

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