COLUMBUS, Ga. - A late surge of nine runs between the seventh and eighth innings by Columbus State University led the Cougars to claim a 12-3 win at home Friday night over the University of North Georgia in Peach Belt Conference action.
The Saints (16-28, 7-18 PBC) led the Cougars (26-19, 18-9 PBC) briefly in the game as Travis Naraine and Eason Spivey scored in the top of the first inning. Spivey drove Naraine in with a double to right-center field before Kevin Krupp drove him in with a single through the right side.
While Columbus State was unable to find an answer in the bottom of the frame, the Cougars were not denied for long as Dustin Averett answered for them with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game. The Cougars then took the lead for the first time in the bottom of the fourth with a single run crossing the dish.
UNG was able to tie the game back up 3-3 in the top of the sixth, but Columbus State denied the Saints a chance at an upset win as they plated three runs in the seventh and another six in the bottom of the eighth.
Both Spivey and Derek Hooper led North Georgia at the plate with two hits each. Spivey, who went 2-4, drove in a pair of runs while Naraine scored twice for the Saints.
North Georgia turned to five pitchers from their staff in the game with Clint Spratlin getting the start on the mound. Spratlin pitched four innings, striking out two while giving up three earned runs, but it was Chris Cobb (2-2) who accepted the loss as he gave up two runs and four walks in 2.2 innings of work.
Columbus State had three pitchers take the mound, each giving the Cougars three solid innings with Zach Helewski (2-6) claiming the win while giving up just one hit and one walk compared to one strikeout.
The two programs will close out the weekend series tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 27 with a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon. The first game is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. with the second game to follow at 4:00 p.m.