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Cougars Drop Game One Despite Late Comeback

Truett McConnell came out on top as the Cougars fought back in the ninth inning. Bears starting pitcher Kyle York scattered five hits over seven innings of work, and allowed just two earned runs.

The Cougars gave the Bears bullpen a run for their money as they threatened in the ninth inning. Trailing 6-2, Nate Krouse got things going with one out as he singled up the middle. Ethan Barba reached base after being hit by a pitch, joining Krouse on the base paths with two outs. David Edwards then beat out a groundball to their short stop, extending the inning with two outs, and loading the bases. Chris Caudillo then reached base on a slow roller to the third baseman, and as the rain started to come down, he had to hold onto the ball which allowed Krouse to score, keeping the bases loaded, with the score 6-3. Next, Zack Weber came up to the plate, and was walked, which forced in another run, cutting the lead to 6-4. With the bases loaded, and the tying run on second base, Joel Felten grounded out to the Bears short stop to end the game.

The Bears got on the board in the first inning, after two walks, a single, and a fielders choice. They scored again in the fifth, when Jonathan Wilson singled in a run. In the sixth, they doubled their lead after two singles and an error.

In the bottom half of the sixth, the Cougars started to show signs of life. On an 0-2 count, Edwards was hit by a pitch, and later scored on a two out double by Weber. Felten singled in Weber cutting the lead in half, 4-2, after six innings.

Truett McConnell added another run in the eighth inning, after pinch hitter Brandon Casteel doubled in second baseman Ryan Farmer, who also reached base on a double. After eight innings, the Bears led 5-2.

Truett added one more insurance run in the ninth, after a leadoff single, a stolen base, and then an RBI single by Buck Harris.

Cougars starter Will Kirby pitched a solid eight innings, recording five strikeouts, and allowing just three earned runs.

Clearwater was led offensively by seniors Ethan Barba and Zack Weber who both went 2-3 on the night, each with a single and a double. Weber also had a RBI.

The Cougars will finish the series with a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon starting at 12 p.m. at Jack Russell Stadium.