STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Columbia baseball team scored first for the fifth consecutive game, but could not hold on as they fell to South Alabama, 4-3, Sunday night. The Lions (0-6) pulled within a run on a two-run homer by Randell Kanemaru in the eighth, however, they stranded the go-ahead run at second and left a total of nine men on base for the game.
Kyle Bartelman, who posted a 3-for-4 performance from the plate, pulled a single to right and Liam McGill drew a five-pitch walk to set up AJ DiFillipo, who came through with a base-hit up the middle to put Columbia in front, 1-0, in the top of the second.
After a scoreless third inning, South Alabama hit back-to-back solo home runs with two outs to erase its deficit in the fourth.
The Jaguars added insurance in the bottom of the seventh. Brendan Donovan found the gap in right-center for a one-out double and a productive groundout pushed him to third. Eddie Paparella reached on an infield single to make it a two-run game. Paparella swiped second and came all the way around after a fielding error, pushing the margin to 4-1.
In the eighth, Porter’s walk set the table for Kanemaru, who belted his first long ball of the season over the wall to trim the deficit to one. After a pitching change, Bartelman singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. DiFillipo reached via error and pinch runner Shane Adams stole second to put two in scoring position with just one out. However, South Alabama called upon Matt Peacock, who induced a pop up to short and a ground ball to keep the Jaguars in front.
Porter tried to keep things going with a two-out hit, but a force play ended the ballgame as Peacock picked up his second save of the year.
Perkins and Donvan both went deep for South Alabama. Jason Lott (2-0) picked up the win despite giving up the Kanemaru blast.
Ty Wiest (0-1) only surrendered the two homers and struck out six in five innings.
The Lions have one more game in Starkville against the host Bulldogs, Monday, March 13. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on SEC Network + and the WatchESPN app.