Ryan Lewis sent a 1-0 pitch just past the third base bag into the leftfield corner scoring two runs to lift the Columbus State University baseball team to a 5-4 walkoff victory over Flagler Friday evening in the first game of a Peach Belt Conference series. The game took place at Ragsdale Field in Columbus.
Trailing the entire game, the Cougars came to bat in the bottom of the ninth down 4-3. After Mike O'Reilly retired the first batter of the frame, pinch hitter Jackson Oliver jumped on the first pitch he saw sending it into rightfield. Next up was Blake Edwards who also connected on the first pitch lining a single into centerfield.
That brought up graduate student Ryan Lewis On a 1-0 count, Lewis laced a ball just pass the diving third baseman and inside the bag allowing Oliver and Edwards to race around the bases for the victory.
Columbus State climbs to 15-15 marking the first time this season that CSU has been .500 or better. The Cougars are now 9-6 in conference play while Flagler falls to 14-17 overall and 6-13 in PBC action.
FC got on the board in the first with a big two out hit. Jake Jacob led off the game with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a groundout, Tyler Vanover sent a 2-2 pitch through the left side of the infield plating Jacob.
Flagler added to their lead the following inning as Chace Mitchell launched a two-run blast over the leftfield wall to give FC a 3-0 lead.
The Cougars got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when J.D. Pullen beat out a bunt single and Cameron Scott walked. After a balk advanced both runners, Brett Teschner drove in Pullen in on a sacrifice fly. Martin Castro followed with a single just out of the reach of the diving second baseman into centerfield sending Scott home from third.
Flagler had a golden opportunity to break the game open in the sixth. Helewski got the first batter he face to pop up but then three straight singles loaded the bases. The junior couldn't find the strike zone against Nick Kranick walking him on four straight pitches forcing home a run. Head coach Greg Appleton then made the call to the bullpen for senior Cameron Griffin who struck out the first batter he faced and then got a groundball for the third out of the inning to keep the score at 4-2.
Again, the Cougars responded making it a one run game in the bottom half of the sixth. Scott led off with a double down the leftfield line and a fly ball to deep right-centerfield advanced him to third. Castro came up with the big hit again sending a shot into the left-centerfield gap chasing home Scott.
Flagler had a late scoring opportunity in the eighth as Jacob singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A line drive out to leftfield and a diving play by Edwards at second ended the inning for the Saints.
The Saints put a runner on third with two outs in the ninth but they failed to push him across setting up the Cougar heroics.
Ryan Lewis led the offensive charge for Columbus State going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a double. Martin Castro also had a good game finishing the night 2-for-4 with two driven in.