Rubber games have been quite rare for Georgia College in conference play this year. In fact, Sunday’s game three with Columbus State was just the Bobcats’ third rubber match in conference play this year. The team has either won or swept all of its conference series this year on their way to a final conference record of 26-4 (.867). That’s good enough for the all-time program record.
A few weeks back, this three-game set with Columbus State appeared to be a pivotal series for both highly ranked clubs, however, after the Bobcats swept Flagler in three thrilling games in mid-April, it would appear that Georgia College would walk away with the regular season Peach Belt Conference title. While the series didn’t mean anything in terms of the regular season title (Georgia College secured first place last week after a victory over Augusta), there was still a lot on the line for both clubs who gave fans in Columbus an exciting weekend series.
Prior to the series, Georgia College was ranked #12 nationally to Columbus State’s #5 ranking (the two schools are the only two Georgia schools ranked in the top 25 nationally in division II). Following the series, GC moved ahead of the Cougars, improving to #8 on the national poll while Columbus State dropped to #9.
Standout performance: Charlie Hecht would throw a gem — a complete game shutout — for the Bobcats on Friday night’s opener, shutting out the Cougars by a final score of 6-0, allowing just four hits and two walks while fanning ten over nine complete innings. Hecht, the team’s regular Friday night starter, has been extremely impressive on the season, posting an ERA of 2.27. He’s 9-0 in 12 games thus far with an impressive K/BB ratio of 4.90.
Columbus State would take a thriller on Alumni Day on Saturday, barely clinging on to a 6-5 victory despite a late GC rally in the top of the ninth. In game three, it was all CSU early on as the Cougars jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first inning. GC’s top ranked offense would take over in the later innings, however, mounting 3 in the fourth, 1 in the fifth, 5 in the sixth, and 1 in the seventh to rally all the way back to a series-deciding 10-6 victory.
While Georgia College has first place locked up, Columbus State sits in third place at 18-8, behind #25 USC Aiken (22-8), whom they were swept by earlier this year. (It should be noted that Columbus State has played four less conference games than both GCSU and USC Aiken). As far as overall records are concerned, GCSU and CSU are tied at the top with an impressive 36-10 record.
Up next: GCSU wraps up the season with a non-conference series vs. Winston Salem State at home. Columbus State wraps up their 2018 campaign with a three-game conference series at Dahlonega.
We’ve covered both of these elite clubs extensively throughout 2018 and I, for one, can’t wait to follow them both as they head toward (hopefully) deep runs in the postseason.