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Columbia State Clinches TCCAA Title!

April 29, 2012
By Greg Bradley of TennesseeSportsNet

Chargers celebrate TCCAA regular season championship!

Cleveland, TN. Its been a long time coming, but the Columbia State Chargers baseball team escaped Cleveland with their 16th TCCAA season championship taking two of three games with the Cougars.

The weekend at Cleveland State opened with a gem of a performance from freshman hurler Lucas Laster. The former Cornersville Bulldog shutout the Cougars 9-0 Friday. Laster struckout 10, retiring 26 of 29 batters allowing one hit in the seventh inning. An error, hit-bats-man and single in the seventh accounted for the three runners.

The game was scoreless until the fifth when the Chargers struck for four runs to take the lead. CSCC added two more in the sixth and three in the ninth.

Cleveland pitcher Ross Spurgeon won his third game of the year taking game two 3-2. The Cougar sophomore gave up two runs on five hits, one of those the third homer of the season by freshman TJ Diffenderfer that accounted for the two runs for the Chargers.

The Cougars scored a run in three different innings. The first runs came in the second, fourth and fifth innings.

Sophomore Chris Orphanos took the loss for the Chargers.

Columbia State's championship season boiled down to the outcome of game three, the final contest of the regular season. The Chargers needed this win to clinch the title and avoid collapse.

The Cougar came out with all cylinders in full stride as they took an early lead in the first with two runs on three hits. That score held til the fourth when Columbia State tied the game at two.

With two on and two outs Preston Carter singles in Alex Vondohlen and Jesse Gavigan tying the game at 2-2. The Chargers took the lead in the fifth. TJ Diffenderfer drives in DJ Armstrong off his second hit of the game a double to to the gap. The Chargers hold on to win giving them a 22-5 record and Don Whitson his eighth win for the year.

Head Coach Mike Corn told TSN he is happy for his guys, but they know there is more business ahead. They want to win the TCCAA Region VII Tournament being held this year at Chattanooga State starting May 6th.

The Chargers will open play seeded #1 on Monday May 7th at 4:00 pm. Columbia State also received a berth in the NJCAA East/Central District Tournament being held in Georgia at the Region XVII regular season champion in mid-May.

The location will be Middle Georgia College in Cochran, GA. The Warriors wrapped up the title Saturday. From MGC website: 

Middle Georgia had a busy day that included Georgia Governor Nathan Deal throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, the Warriors wrapping up their regular season, and MGC's annual Sophomore Day. The biggest outcome, however, was the 2012 Warriors winning the regular season Region 17 Championship (GCAA title). MGC split a doubleheader with Darton College, but won 3 of 4 for the series victory and regular season conference title. With that honor, the Warriors are set to host the East Central District Tournament on May 18th-20th where the winner earns a trip to Grand Junction, Colorado and the NJCAA World Series. MGC came into the series needing 3 victories for the title. They sped past Darton in the first 3 games to leave no doubt as there is one more week on the conference schedule for all the other conference opponents. Second place through sixth place will be determined next week. MGC finished the conference schedule 26-6 running their winning streak to 16 games before splitting today's doubleheader. In game 1, Sam Agnew-Wieland earned the win with 5.2 dominating innings. Agnew-Wieland allowed 1 unearned run on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 9 batters. JB Wendelken entered the 6th inning with runners on and 2 outs to retire his first batter. Wendelken earned the save as he finished the game in the 7th, allowing 2 hits and striking out 1 with no runs scored. All 9 Warrior hitters recorded a hit in the game with Blake Shouse leading the way with 2 hits, 1 run scored, and an RBI. Bo Way, Jake Fields, Caleb Bryson, Dylan Kelly, Khirus Ware, Ben Donath, Matt Fears, and DJ Driggers also collected hits in the game. Donath drove in 2 runs and Fields drove in another, while Way, Fields, and Bryson also scored a run apiece. Game 2 saw MGC drop their first game in almost 4 weeks by a score of 6-3. The damage was done early as Jeremy Holcom was unable to work out of the 3rd inning. Eric Alonzo provided 4.2 innings of shutout relief to keep the Warriors in striking distance. Alonzo allowed just 3 hits and a walk while striking out 2. DJ Driggers had 3 hits and a run scored to pace the offense while Jake Fields added 2 hits with 2 RBI. Matt Fears smacked a solo homerun for his lone hit and Phillip Treadway scored after reaching with a single. Middle Georgia sits at 40-11 on the season and awaits the Region Tournament to take place May 11th-14th. The tournament will be at the predetermined site at Georgia Perimeter College where MGC enters as the number 1 seed and thus receives a first round bye. The winner of that tournament will earn a berth in the District Tournament, if the MGC also wins that, then the 2nd place team from the tournament will earn a berth in the District Tournament.

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