AIKEN, S.C. — Columbus State made five errors and went on to lose 16-6 to Montevallo late Saturday night in the first round of the single-elimination Peach Belt Conference tournament at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.
Shortstop Carson Bowers made three of the errors and left fielder Matt Nettles made the other two.
The Cougars battled through the early mistakes and led 6-5 after four innings. All five of Falcons' run up to that point were unearned off CSU starter Mike McGinnity.
But then Montevallo broke the game open with eight runs in the top of the fifth. After a walk, a home run and another walk, McGinnity was taken out.
Sean Muller gave up a walk, a single and hit two straight batters to force in a run. Jordan Villhauer came in to get the final two outs of the inning but not before giving up two more runs.
Montevallo reliever Jeremy Bagnell (4-2), who came into the game in the third inning, settled down and held CSU to one run on five hits over the final 6 2-3 innings.
Blake Edwards led the Cougars, going 3-for-5 with an RBI. Brendan Collins, Jimmy Obermark and Mike McClellan had two hits apiece.
McGinnity (6-1) suffered his first loss of the season. He allowed eight runs (three earned) and six hits in 4 1-3 innings. The CSU bullpen allowed eight runs (all earned) in 4 2-3 innings.
The Cougars, who were the No. 3 in the Southeast Regional rankings heading into the PBC tournament, will now wait for the NCAA tournament selection show (10 p.m. Sunday night).