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Martin Throws Complete Game and Cougars Sweep Series in Second Walk Off Saturday Afternoon
In the night cap of the double header against Hiwassee College, Clearwater entered the game with the hope to sweep the weekend series.
Hiwassee College scored in the second inning, as Dalton Harrelson led off with a double. Harrelson moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt by Landon Brady, and then scored on a single off the bat of third baseman Zac Kerley.
It didn't take much time for the Cougars to respond, getting on the board in the bottom half of the second, in similar fashion as the Tigers. First baseman Noel Thomas doubled to start the inning, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Justin Capela. Junior Jon Rivera hit a fly ball to to right field that was deep enough to score Thomas, tying the game 1-1.
Freshman starting pitcher Stephen Martin kept the momentum on the Cougars side, pitching a scoreless third, giving Clearwater a chance to take a lead. In the bottom of the third, freshman catcher Caleb Jordan reached base on a throwing error from the Tigers third baseman to start the inning. Then, on a 2-2 count, freshman Jake Reidy drove a ball over the left field wall for a two run home run, giving the Cougars a 3-1 lead.
Martin ran into some trouble in the fifth inning, after the Tigers led off the inning with three singles in a row. With two runners on base, and the Cougars lead already cut to 3-2, Harrelson struck again for the Tigers collecting two RBI's on a single that scored Garrison Sisson and Chris Large. Brady was retired by Martin on a fly out to center fielder Chris Zweifach, ending the threat, keeping Hiwassee's lead at 4-3.
Martin threw back to back 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh, which set up another dramatic seventh inning for the Cougars.
Freshman Peter Liloia led off the inning with a single up the middle. Freshman Brandon Gonzalez entered the game as a pinch runner, and reached third on a bunt off the bat of Zweifach. Zweifach reached base on the bunt and eventually stole second. With runners at second and third and no outs, junior Jefte Velez singled through the left side, scoring Gonzalez, and advancing Zweifach to third. Freshman Caleb Jordan came to the plate, and on a 2-1 count with the score tied at 4-4, Tigers pitcher Bryan Woodlief bounced a pitch in the dirt, that scooted away from catcher Josh Miller, allowing Zweifach to take off and score to win the game 5-4.
Martin (1-3) picked up the win, throwing a complete game, striking out six, allowing four earned runs, while surrendering eight hits.
Junior's Noel Thomas and Jefte Velez both had multi-hit games, and seven of the nine Cougars starters collected hits.
Woodlief took the loss for Hiwassee.
Clearwater's sweep this weekend improves their record to 3-11 overall. They will travel to Webber International University on Tuesday night for the second game of a home and home non-conference midweek match up.
Notes: The last time the Cougars swept a series dates back to last season on March 9-10 against Alice Lloyd College...Martin picked up his first collegiate victory and his complete game is his second this season...Reidy homered for the first time in his college career and extended his hitting streak to four games...Velez has also collected a hit in each of the past four games and had three multi-hit games this week...Clearwater walked off for the second game in a row.
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