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Warriors Five Run Eighth Inning Leads to 8-2 Loss for Clearwater

Clearwater traveled to Babson Park, Florida for a midweek match up against Webber International University on Tuesday evening. Freshman Wade Irwin took the mound in hopes to continue the Cougars winning streak.

Irwin pitched seven innings, yielding three hits, walking four, and allowing three runs. Webber striked first after Irwin walked the first two Warriors hitters in the bottom of the first, and then scored on a base hit by first baseman Tripp Merrell.

Webber added another in the second inning, expanding their lead to 2-0.

In the top of the third inning, Clearwater fought back and scored two runs. Freshman Peter Liloia hit a single to start of the inning, followed by a double off the bat of freshman Chris Zweifach. Junior Jefte Velez then drove in Liloia and Zweifach, notting the score at 2-2.

The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Tripp Merrell scored, giving Webber a 3-2 lead.

Irwin pitched effectively, throwing three 1-2-3 innings, and left the game in the top of the eighth, when reliever Kyle Baitz made his second appearance of the season after Irwin surrendered a lead off walk. Baitz gave up five singles in a row, and then induced three consecutive outs including a strikeout, but the Warriors expanded their lead to 8-2, which was too much for Clearwater.

The Cougars left the bases loaded in the fourth, and then two runners on base in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, which proved to be the difference in the game.

Freshmen Jake Reidy and Chris Zweifach led the Cougars with two hits a piece, and Zweifach scored one of the two Cougars runs.

Irwin took the loss on the mound, falling to 1-1 on the year. The Cougars three game winning steak was snapped, and are now 3-12 on the year.

Clearwater will host Cedarville University and Goshen College this weekend at Jack Russell Stadium. The Cougars will first play Cedarville on Friday night with the first pitch set for 6pm.

Notes: Webber International University takes the season series 2-0...Reidy and Velez have now hit safely in the past five games...Irwin set a career high with seven innings pitched...Cougars winning streak snapped at three.