Lusignan's 9th-inning HR lifts No. 25 LU past No. 7 CSU

Colby Lusignan's ninth-inning homer lifts Lander to upset over Columbus State. (File photo by Bob Stoner)
Colby Lusignan's ninth-inning homer lifts Lander to upset over Columbus State. (File photo by Bob Stoner)

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Colby Lusignan's ninth-inning solo home run boosted the No. 25 Lander baseball team to a 9-8 upset victory over No. 7 Columbus State Friday night in Game 1 of their PBC series at Burger King Stadium at Ragsdale Field.

Lander, which improves to 22-5 overall and 13-3 in the PBC with its 14th straight win, will face the Cougars at 6 p.m., Saturday, in Game 2. The final game of the series is schedule for 1 p.m., Sunday. Columbus drops to 20-6, 8-2.

Bearcat closer Brandon White improve his record on the mound to 2-1 after striking out three and giving up just one hit in 1.2 innings. Starter Will Jones went 5.2 inning with seven strikeouts and five earned runs on nine hits.

The Cougars' Kolton Ingram was tagged with the loss with one earned run on one hit in two-thirds of an inning.

Zach Daly got things started when his first-inning RBI single plated Matt White for a 1-0 lead.

The Cougars came right back in the second inning to take a 2-1 advantage on Ryan Ihle's two run blast to left field, but Colby Lusignan's RBI single to left center plated White to knot it at 2-all in the third.

After Columbus scored two more runs in the third to go up 4-2 when Tyler Fichter scored on a throwing error and Matt Nettle drove in Jackson Oliver, Lander made its move.

With three runs in the fourth on Dodd's two-RBI, bases-loaded single and Troutman's sacrifice fly, the Bearcats took a 5-2 lead.

Both teams added two runs in the fifth -- Lander's on another two-RBI single by Dodd -- then the Bearcats added another run after White went home when Colby Lusignan grounded into a double play to make it 8-6 in the sixth.

But Columbus wasn't done. The Cougars rallied to tie the game at 8-all in the eighth on a two-run throwing error by the Bearcats.

Then came Lugisnan's game-winning homer, his eighth bomb of the season.

For Lander, White and Daley both went 3-for-5, Dodd 3-for-4 with four RBI, and Mangum and Conaway had two hits apiece.