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Lions Rally in Last Inning to Win


In game two of the three game series, the Cougars were three outs away from snapping their losing streak, but couldn't hang on. Five Lions hits and one Cougar error, led to a five run seventh inning, and a 7-4 lead.

In the top of the first, Florida Memorial led off with back to back hits, and then a bunt single, loading the bases with no outs. Starting pitcher Kyle Leja struck out the next two hitters, but Lions right fielder Alejandro Diaz came through with timely hitting, recording a single and two RBI's.

Clearwater bounced right back in their half of the first, tying the game 2-2. Leadoff hitter David Edwards hit a single to start the inning, Jefte Velez bunted him over to second, and then Zack Weber moved him to third on a groundball to the right side. Nate Krouse singled him home, and advanced on an error by the shortstop. Krouse scored in the inning as designated hitter Joel Felten hit an RBI single to left.

The Cougars took the lead in the fourth inning after four hits, and a walk. Second baseman Chris Caudillo started the inning with a single, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Joel Felten. Third baseman Manny Chmielewski hit a single to left, putting runners at the corners with one out. Right fielder Henry Turner walked, loading the bases for Senior Ethan Barba, who hit an RBI single, giving the Cougars a 3-2 lead. Sophomore Jefte Velez then singled home Chmielewski, making the lead 4-2.

Starting pitcher Kyle Leja rolled through the first six innings, allowing just two runs, striking out five, and scattering seven hits. He started the seventh inning, and was unable to finish the game, turning it over to reliever Kyle Baitz to finish the last two outs of the inning.

The Cougars were unable to respond in the bottom half of the seventh, dropping another close one, 7-4.

Three Cougars recorded three hits in the game including David Edwards, Chris Caudillo, and Manny Chmielewski. Ethan Barba went 2-3 with an RBI. Nate Krouse, Joel Felten, and Jefte Velez each had one RBI a piece.