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Felten Hits Walk Off Single in Cougars Win
Clearwater Christian College squared off with Hiwassee College in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Jack Russell Stadium.
In the bottom of the first inning, freshman catcher Caleb Jordan reached base on a one out double, followed by a single from freshman third baseman Jake Reidy. Jordan got caught in between third and home on a missed suicide squeeze attempt, leaving just Reidy on base with two outs. Junior right fielder Joel Felten hit a two out RBI single, scoring Reidy, giving Clearwater an early 1-0 lead.
Hiwassee answered back in the next half inning, after starting pitcher Brandon Gonzalez hit the Tigers left fielder BJ Kennedy with a pitch to start the inning. The Cougars made three errors in the inning, but only ended up surrendering one run. Center fielder Cody Armstrong lined into a double play to end the threat.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, freshman Peter Liloia singled to start the inning. Liloia advanced to second base on a fielders choice off the bat of freshman Chris Zweifach, who also reached base on the play. Junior Jefte Velez drove in Liloia with a single, giving the Cougars a 2-1 lead.
Gonzalez entered the sixth inning carrying a no hitter, as he kept the Tigers off balance. With one out in the top of the sixth, Tigers pitcher Chris Large broke up the no-no with a double. Freshman Taylor Hill came on in relief and got short stop Garrison Sisson to hit a ground ball to the left of Cougars short stop Justin Capela, who couldn't handle it, which scored two runs, giving Hiwassee a 3-2 lead. Large scored on the play, along with third baseman Logan Tant who reached on a one out walk.
Gonzalez (0-3) completed 5 1/3 innings of work, giving up one hit, striking out eight, issuing seven free passes, not allowing an earned run. He ended up with a no decision.
Freshman Taylor Hill finished the sixth inning in relief, facing three hitters, going 2/3 of an inning.
Entering the bottom of the sixth, the Cougars trailed 3-2. Junior Jon Rivera got his first hit of the day with a double in the gap, putting himself in scoring position. Zweifach followed Rivera with an infield single, his second hit of the day. He finished 2-3. With runners on first and second and two outs, Velez hit a pop up that the Tigers second baseman misplayed, allowing Rivera to score, tying the game 3-3. Large retired Jordan on a ground ball back to himself, ending the threat.
Freshman Wade Irwin entered the game out of the bullpen for the Cougars, throwing a 1-2-3 seventh inning, collecting one strikeout.
Clearwater took that momentum into the bottom of the seventh, as Reidy hit a lead off double to get things going. On a 1-2 count, Felten hit a walk off single that scored Reidy from second, ending the game in dramatic fashion with a final score of 4-3.
Irwin picked up the win for the Cougars, earning his first win of the season.
Felten, Reidy, and Zweifach finished with two hits a piece, and Felten collected two RBI's.
Clearwater improves to 2-11 on the season, and Hiwassee drops to 2-4.
Notes: Irwin's win is the first of his college career...Clearwater collected ten hits for the first time since opening day against Northwood on February 1...Felten's hitting streak is extended to four games...Hill leads the pitching staff with eight appearances.
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