CARROLLTON, Ga. – The first loss of 2018 for the UWG baseball program came on Wednesday afternoon at Ragsdale Field in Columbus, as the Columbus State Cougars scored 13 unanswered runs over the final four innings to hand West Georgia a 13-4 loss.
The Wolves came into the contest with a 10-0 record to open the season, including four victories on the road. On Wednesday, however, the Wolves ran into a team that got hot in the sixth en route to the loss for West Georgia on the same day that UWG was ranked 9th in the nation in the first National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll.
A pair of freshmen pitchers, Tyler Garner for UWG and Jaime Boatright for Columbus State, kept the two teams off of the scoreboard for the first two innings of the contest. But it was West Georgia that struck first in this one, as junior designated hitter Gabriel Wurtz homered to lead off the top of the third inning. For Wurtz, it was his second home run since coming to UWG.
But that was just the start of a big inning for the Wolves, as Christopher Michals doubled with two outs, followed by an infield single from Ben Utley, a single to right for Cade Marlowe and a double from Logan Taylor. When the dust settled, the Wolves had chased Boatright from the game and held a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning.
That lead stayed until the sixth inning, when the Cougars erupted for seven runs in the inning. CSU had two solo homers in the frame and a three-run shot to take a 7-4 lead in the contest. The Columbus State pitchers on in relief, including Tyler Cadenhead and Jalen Lotta, kept the Wolves off-balance through the top of the eighth, allowing just two hits and striking out six Wolves in 5.1 innings of work.
The Wolves will take on Mississippi College at home on Friday and Saturday, opening Gulf South Conference play at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon against the Choctaws.