MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - In front of the largest crowd of the 2009 season as the game coincided with the school's Annual Faculty/Staff Picnic, No. 13 Georgia College & State University baseball (36-14) beat Columbus State University (27-22) in a 2-1 pitchers' duel at John Kurtz Field tonight (April 29). An estimated 411 were in attendance to see the Bobcats down the Cougars, running the season series to 3-1 in GCSU's favor.
Four Bobcat pitchers combined for the gem, holding CSU to just one run on four hits. The Bobcats had just four hits themselves, two of which were home runs attributing for the 2-1 win. The Cougars sent five pitchers to the hill in the loss.
GCSU starter Alex Burkard (Alpharetta, Ga.) picked up the first win (1-0) of his collegiate career, going 5 1/3 innings stifling the CSU bats to just one run on three hits. The sophomore lefty fanned five. Junior Dylan Lightell (Rosamond, Calif.) tossed the next 1 2/3 with one hit and a strikeout, classmate Ryan Tabor (Lawrenceville, Ga.) then went 1 1/3 before turning it over to junior closer Martin Dewald (Mannheim, Germany) for the final two outs and his 14th save.
Dewald now stands one save away from the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) single-season record, and also one away from the Division II lead this season.
CSU scored first in the third, getting an RBI single from second baseman Tim Bondell. Bobcat third baseman Matt Pitts (Brunswick, Ga.) answered right back with his seventh home run of the season in the bottom half, taking a 1-1 pitch for a towering drive over the scoreboard in left-center.
The winning run came an inning later off the bat of designated hitter Buddy Elmore (Dallas), as the junior took a 3-1 pitch to the opposite field in left, bouncing off the top of the outfield wall and over for Elmore's fifth round-tripper of the season.
For CSU, Danny Davidson (2-3) took the loss, going two innings and allowing both home runs for his only hits.
The Bobcats head to the final three games of the regular season this weekend, taking on PBC foe Augusta State University in a three-game set at Kurtz Field. Play begins with a Saturday, May 2 doubleheader at 12:30 p.m. and a single game capper Sunday, May 3 at 1 p.m.
The PBC title hangs in the balance, as GCSU trails national No. 4 USC Aiken by three games and could force a co-championship with a sweep of the Jaguars this weekend.
Visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports.