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Cougars Drop Another One Run Game

The Cougars dropped their fifth one run game of the season in their conference opener versus Florida Christian College on Saturday afternoon at Frank Tack Park.
Junior Kyle Leja dominated for Clearwater, throwing six complete innings, allowing no earned runs, and giving up just three hits.

Leja started the seventh inning, and issued a lead off walk. He turned the game over to freshman Will Kirby who got an out right away on a sac bunt, putting the Suns runner in scoring position at second base, with one out. Suns player Zach Santos was walked on a full count, and ball four was a high fastball that zoomed to the backstop past Cougars catcher Nate Krouse, allowing FCC's first baseman Vince Tome to advance to third. With Santos at first and Tome at third, Santos took off to steal second and Krouse's throw went off the glove of second baseman Chris Caudillo's glove and trickled far enough away, allowing Tome to score from third. Kirby then retired the next two hitters, completing his one inning of work, with one strikeout.

The Cougars trailed 1-0 going into the bottom of the seventh, and were put down in order, as Suns starting pitcher Brent Hodge finished what he started, throwing a complete game, four hit shutout.

Clearwater never had more than one runner on base at the same time, struggling to get a run across home.

Seniors Zack Weber and Ethan Barba, sophomore Eddie Fuentes, and freshman Nate Krouse each collected a hit for the Cougars in the game.