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Late Rally Not Enough for Clearwater
Clearwater was one hit away from tying the game in the bottom of the seventh. The Cougars trailed 7-2 going into their last at bats, and scored four runs, leaving the tying run at third base.
Florida Memorial got out to an early lead in the top of the first, scoring three runs on three hits and a pair of walks.
In Clearwater's top half of the first, Sophomore David Edwards led off with a single. Then sophomore Jefte Velez advanced him to second on a ground ball, followed by senior Zack Weber's single to score Edwards from second. After the first inning, the Cougars trailed 3-1.
In the Lions third inning, a lead off double by shortstop Ruddy Ruiz and then a one out sacrifice fly by right fielder Christian Feliz, plated another run for FMU, spreading their lead to 4-1. They also put one more across in the fourth, making it 5-1.
Clearwater put together a run in the fourth, as freshman David Dumas recorded his first collegiate RBI knocking in second baseman Chris Caudillo. Caudillo walked with one out, and was moved to second on a single by freshman Manny Chmielewski before Dumas came to the plate.
Florida Memorial scored some key insurance runs in the top of the seventh, extending their lead to 7-2, after three hits, including two doubles.
Those runs proved to be important as the Cougars rallied back in the bottom of the seventh. The inning started off with Chmielewski being hit by a pitch. The next two Cougars struck out, leaving them one more out to work with. Edwards, Velez, and Weber hit back to back to back singles, which scored one run, making it 7-3, with the bases loaded and two outs. Catcher Nate Krouse walked, which forced Edwards in, cutting the lead to 7-4. Caudillo came up with a timely hit with two strikes, singling to right field, scoring both Velez and Weber, making it a one run game. After a Lions pitching change, and runners at the corners with two outs, pitcher Thomas Tritz induced a ground ball to end the game, with the final score being 7-6.
Offensively the Cougars were led by Weber who went 3-4 in the nightcap, with an RBI. Edwards went 2-4 with two runs scored.
Starting pitcher Henry Turner took the loss for Clearwater, throwing five innings, giving up four earned runs.
Another solid pitching performance from the Lions came from David Colon, hurling six complete innings, facing just twenty four hitters, and giving up two earned.
The Cougars will look to snap out of the losing skid as they take the field next at Southard Stadium on the campus of St. Leo University Tuesday night with the first pitch at 6 p.m.
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