by Tom Callahan

COLUMBUS, GA - The Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots had to rally from a five-run first inning deficit to beat the Chattahoochee Monsters 10-8 in the 11th inning on Wednesday night at Golden Park.

The Monsters got off to a flying start, scoring five runs in the first inning of the game. The Hoots would battle back with four runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to tie the game, but the Monsters scored again in the bottom of the sixth to retake the lead.

Columbus managed to tie the game with a run in the ninth, forcing extra innings. Both teams would score one run each in the tenth, setting the stage for the dramatic finish.

In the top of the 11th, the Hoots got a leadoff single from Sean Darnell. Then Conner O’Neal took an 0-1 pitch to deep right field for a two-run homer to put the Hoots ahead for good. Columbus would add one more before the end of the inning, and the Monsters could only score once in the home half of the frame.

The win gives the Hoots its sixth straight win and keeps them just behind the idle Gainesville Gol’Diggers for first place in the SunBelt Baseball League.

Columbus will now host the Atlanta Blues for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday night. First pitch is at 7:05 pm for both games. Chattahoochee will play a Sunday 2:05 doubleheader against the Waleska Wild Things. Tickets are on sale now via the team web sites or by calling (706) 507-4625.