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Kirby Throws Gem, Clearwater Snaps Losing Streak

Hiwassee College traveled to Clearwater for the first of a three game series at Jack Russell Stadium Friday night. The Cougars looked to snap their losing streak, and got a solid outing from sophomore starting pitcher Will Kirby (1-3) to aid that.

The Tigers got out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first after a pair of RBI hits from catcher Alex Huddleston and third baseman Logan Tant. That ended the scoring for the Tigers as Kirby kept their hitters in check for a career high eight innings.

Kirby finished his outing with nine strikeouts, scattered six hits, walked one, and did not give up an earned run.

Clearwater had an opportunity to answer in the bottom half of the first inning, after back to back two out singles from freshman Jake Reidy and junior Joel Felten, but junior Noel Thomas struck out swinging on a pitch from Tigers starting pitcher Wesley Campbell.

In the the bottom of the third, junior Jefte Velez led off with a single, followed by freshman catcher Caleb Jordan's single of his own. Reidy then hit his second single of the game, advancing Velez and Jordan up a base. Felten, who finished the day 2-4, hit a double scoring both Velez and Jordan, tying the game at 2-2. Campbell then retired Thomas on a pop up and sophomore Justin Capela on a strikeout to end the inning.

The game remained tied until the sixth inning, when Thomas led off the inning with a double, advanced to third a on ground out to second base by junior Jon Rivera, and then scored on a Tiger error off the bat of freshman Peter Liloia, taking a 3-2 lead.

In the seventh, Jordan scored for the second time of the night, after walking to start the inning, stole second, and was plated by Reidy, who hit an RBI single. Reidy finished the day 3-4 with an RBI.

Looking to add an insurance run in the eighth, Liloia reached on a fielders choice, stole second, and scored on an RBI single from Velez.

Velez finished the day 3-5 with an RBI.

Freshman Taylor Hill picked up the save, closing out the ninth inning.

The Cougars picked up their first victory of the season in the 5-2 win Friday night.

These two teams will finish the series as they take the field tomorrow at Jack Russell Stadium with a doubleheader set for 1pm.

Notes: Reidy's three hit night is a career high...Hill earned his first collegiate save...Clearwater snagged four bags...eight of the nine Cougars starters reached base...Jordan set a career high with two runs scored.