KENNESAW, Ga. – For most of Friday’s series opener at Kennesaw State, the fans were witness to a workmanlike pitcher’s duel from Columbia’s David Speer and KSU’s Jordan Hillyer, but a sixth-inning two-RBI triple by the Owls Bo Way gave the home team a 2-0 victory at Stillwell Stadium.
For the second straight week, Speer went eight innings on the hill for Columbia, giving up just five hits, while also striking out five. Hillyer, equally, tossed eight innings and posted seven strikeouts without allowing a Columbia base runner to cross home plate.
Columbia had the first scoring chance Friday afternoon, in the fourth frame. Junior Jordan Serena led off with a single to centerfield, and advanced around to third during the next two at bats. He would be stranded on third though, as Hillyer would get a ground out to first to thwart the scoring threat.
After five scoreless innings of play, KSU finally broke through with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. Kal Simmons singled to right field and Justin Motley was hit by a pitch to give the Owls runners at first and second with one down. Catcher Max Pentecost lined out to Aaron Silbar at shortstop for the second out, but Way cleared the bases in the next at bat with a triple down the left field line.
The Lions threatened to score again in the top of eighth, as senior Mike Fischer and Serena singled to give Columbia a pair of base runners with no outs. Justin McCalvin came on in relief for Hillyer at that point and induced a double play and then recorded a strikeout to keep the Owls ahead 2-0.
McCalvin gave up a single to Gus Craig in the top of the ninth, but it was the only base runner allowed, as KSU closed out the series-opening win.
The Lions and Owls are back at it Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader at Stillwell Stadium beginning at 1 p.m.