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Tritons Hitting Overpowers Cougars
Clearwater traveled to St. Petersburg to take on Eckerd College on Tuesday evening for their first midweek game of the season. The Tritons crossed the plate twenty times in the contest.
The Cougars jumped out to a lead in the first inning after junior Jefte Velez reached base on a throwing error by the Tritons shortstop. Freshman Jake Reidy then hit a groundball through the right side of the infield which advanced Velez to third. With runners at the corners and one out, junior Joel Felten beat out a close double play opportunity turned by Eckerd's infield on Felten's groundball, which allowed Velez to score.
Clearwater took a 1-0 lead into the top of the 2nd inning and junior Jon Rivera led off the inning with a line drive single to left. Junior Noel Thomas collected his first hit of two on the day knocking a single to right, putting Rivera at third. After a strikeout, freshman Chris Zweifach executed a squeeze play, scoring Rivera, giving the Cougars a 2-0 lead.
Sophomore Justin Capela started on the hill for Clearwater, retiring the Tritons in order in the bottom of the 1st. In the bottom of the 2nd, with Clearwater in the lead 2-0, Capela issued a free pass to designated hitter Tyler Abadal to start the inning. First baseman Chris Hanson followed Abadal with a double in the gap, scoring Abadal, cutting the Cougars lead in half, 2-1. Capela retired the next three hitters, ending the threat.
Eckerd's bats came alive in the bottom of the 3rd, with two outs and a runner on third base. Mike Vavasis, the Tritons left fielder, drove in Rowdy Andrews, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning, tying the score at 2-2. Abadal then singled and Hanson walked to load the bases with two outs. Third baseman Lee Spinelle hit a groundball to third base, which got through, knocking in Vavasis, taking a 3-2 lead. The next two hitters, Lincoln Dunham and Adam Moreau both followed with base hits, collecting two RBI's each, extending the Tritons lead to 7-2. Andrews then hit an RBI single, making it 8-2.
Over the 5th and 6th innings, Eckerd scored 11 more runs on nine hits, four free passes, and three errors, extending the lead to 19-2.
Clearwater put a run across in the 6th inning, as Reidy singled to start the inning, and later scored on a groundout off the bat of Caleb Jordan, collecting the RBI, making the score 19-3.
Eckerd put one more across in the bottom of the 8th inning, ending their scoring for the day, making the final score 20-3.
Capela falls to 0-1 on the year, and the Cougars 0-4. Eckerd improved their record to 2-1.
Reidy and Thomas both led the Cougars offensively, collecting two base hits a piece.
Freshman Garrett Johns struck out four over two innings in relief.
Clearwater will travel to St. Augustine this weekend for a three game series with Flagler College, with the first pitch scheduled for Friday night at 7pm.
Notes: Junior Barrette Lindsay and freshman Peter Liloia both reached base in pinch hitting opportunities...Zweifach collected his third RBI...Velez stole his second bag of the year.
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