COLUMBUS – North Georgia starting pitcher Dylan Peppers kept the Columbus State University baseball team at bay as the third-ranked Nighthawks defeated the Cougars 3-0 Sunday. The rubber game of the three-game Peach Belt Conference series took place at Burger King Stadium at Ragsdale Field.
Peppers (5-2) tossed a complete game allowing just three hits while striking out 17 Cougar hitters.
“Give all the credit to their guy,” said head coach Greg Appleton. “He kept us off balance all day and we just couldn’t get anything going. Our bats got going on Friday, but we just failed in certain situations over the past two days.”
North Georgia scored single runs in the first and second innings to take the early lead on the Cougars. CSU starter Luke Porter allowed three hits in the first inning, but limited the damage to just one after a double play ball. In the second, UNG pushed a run across after a one-out double and a sacrifice fly.
Columbus State’s first hit came in the second as Bryce Delevie singled down the first base line. However, back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning.
One of the Cougars’ best chances came in the fourth as Mason McClellan singled to begin the frame while Delevie worked a one-out walk to put two runners on. Peppers held strong there keeping the Cougars off the board.
In the seventh, North Georgia added a run to go ahead 3-0.
The Cougars put a runner on in the seventh and Tyler Fichter legged out a doubled in the eighth, but CSU stranded both runners.
Porter (1-4) pitched well for Columbus State. He allowed just three runs on five hits over his seven innings of work. He struck out four, but did walk four hitters as well. Perez Knowles threw two hitless innings in relief.
Fichter was 1-for-4 with a double while Mason McClellan and Delevie each had a single.
Columbus State will have a two-game midweek series coming up at West Florida. The Cougars will take on UWF on Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m.