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Fire Win In Extra Innings
Southeastern University traveled to Clearwater Tuesday evening for a midweek game at Frank Tack Park. The game lasted over four hours in an extra inning battle.
The Cougars took an 8-7 lead into the top of the ninth inning, but a one out walk, a stolen base, and a single from Fire Catcher Bryan Sparrow tied up the game 8-8.
The Cougars left two runners stranded in the ninth. Sophomore David Edwards reached base on an error, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Chris Caudillo. Senior Zack Weber was intentionally walked, to set up a double play, and they got exactly that, on a groundball to second base off the bat of sophomore Joel Felten, forcing extra innings.
Southeastern broke open for seven runs in the top of the tenth, and holding the Cougars in the bottom half to take a 15-8 victory in the first of two season meetings between these two teams.
Clearwater took a 1-0 deficit into the bottom of the first, but Weber connected with a single scoring Edwards, who led off the inning with a double.
Down 3-1 going into the bottom of the fourth, Clearwater put three runs across the plate, taking a 4-3 lead. Senior Ethan Barba knocked in two runs on a single just behind the second baseman, tying the game. Caudillo drove in a run on another single, giving the Cougars the 4-3 advantage.
Sophomore Jefte Velez drove in a run in the fifth with one of his three hits in the game, scoring freshman Manny Chmielewski, who went 4-5 on the day with a walk. The Cougars led 5-3 after that hit.
The Fire took advantage of two walks, a hit by pitch, an error, and a single to score three runs in the sixth, taking a 6-5 lead.
They put across another run in the seventh, extending their lead to 7-5.
Clearwater took the lead again, which was one of five lead changes in the game. This time for the Cougars it was in the seventh inning, scoring three. Edwards and Caudillo both had RBI singles, and Weber was walked with the bases loaded, forcing in a run giving the Cougars an 8-7 advantage.
Southeastern would then tie the score in the ninth, and put across seven runs in the extra frame, winning 15-8.
The Cougars left sixteen runners on base, and the pitching staff allowed fifteen free passes, one of which was an intentional walk, and nine of Southeastern's runs came from those free bases.
The Cougars connected for eighteen hits, and the Fire had thirteen.
Chmielewski led the Cougars with his four hit day, scoring twice. Edwards scored twice, after reaching base safely in five of his six at bats. Velez also scored two times in his three hit day, and reaching base four times. Each Cougar in the starting line up recorded a base hit.
Freshman Will Kirby started the game for Clearwater, going five innings, giving up three runs, and giving way to the bullpen in line for a win but received a no decision.
Freshman Henry Turner took the loss, after bailing the Cougars out of a jam in the ninth, but couldn't keep the Fire off the board in extras.
The Cougars (7-22) will be on the road for the remainder of the season, and will take the field next Monday in Toccoa Falls, Georgia for a conference doubleheader with Toccoa Falls College (15-14-1) beginning at 2 p.m.
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