Leibrandt-Led Cougars Edge Francis Marion 4-1
COLUMBUS, GA – Junior left-handed pitcher Brodie Leibrandt scattered 10 hits and stranded the tying runs on base in the bottom of the ninth inning as Columbus State University outlasted sixth-ranked Francis University 4-1, Wednesday evening (May 9) in the opening round of the 2012 Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament.
Because of rain on Wednesday afternoon at the downtown Golden Park, the contest was played on CSU’s on-campus facility Ragsdale Field. The remainder of the eight-team double-elimination tournament will however be played at Golden Park.
FMU drops to 34-15 and falls into the losers’ bracket where they will meet 28th-ranked Georgia College on Thursday at 4 p.m. Georgia College was shutout by 30th-ranked Lander University 5-0 also on Wednesday evening.
In Wednesday’s other first-round action, the University of Montevallo edged 13th-ranked USC Aiken 6-5 in 10 innings and 11th-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University blanked North Georgia College & State University 4-0.
Leibrandt (7-5), the son of former major league pitcher Charlie Leibrandt, threw 141 pitches, striking out eight and walking only one.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Patriots strung together three straight singles by catcher Jacob Golliday, second baseman Brock McCallister, and right fielder Jarrod Reed to load the bases with one out. However, Leibrandt recovered to fan pinch-hitters Austin Smetana and John Jones to end the game.
Reed finished the game 3-for-4, while both Golliday and McCallister were 2-for-3.
Junior All-Conference pitcher Spencer Jordan (9-4) suffered the loss as he allowed three runs, all earned, on six hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked four.
Jordan struggled through the top of the first as he opened the game with back-to-back walks, the first of which eventually came around to score on Eric Weiss’ RBI single through the left side.
Francis Marion evened the score in the last of the second frame with a single tally. Senior center fielder Buddy Sosnoskie singled through right side to lead off. Golliday attempted to bunt Sosnoskie to second but ended up reaching on a single when he eluded the pitcher’s tag along the first base line. Both runners then moved up on a sacrifice bunt by McCallister.
Reed then plated Sosnoskie with an RBI single up the middle that was fielded by the shortstop behind the second base bag. Leibrandt then retired the next two batters to avoid further trouble and strand two Patriots on base.
CSU (30-21) went back ahead in the top of the fourth by a 2-1 count when left field J.D. Pullen drilled an RBI singled through the right side. The Cougar advantage would increase to 4-1 on consecutive run-scoring singles by Brett Teschner and Weiss with no outs in the seventh.
FMU failed to get a runner on base in only one inning (sixth), and the Patriots stranded six runners in scoring position.
Teschner, Weiss, and Pullen all had two hits for the Cougars. FMU left fielder Tyler Boyd robbed Teschner of a third hit when he made a leaping catch at the left field wall in the third inning.