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Cougars Open Up Weekend With 9-2 Win

The Cougars hosted Cedarville University on Friday evening at Jack Russell Stadium. Clearwater got on the board early and often, and got a strong outing from sophomore Will Kirby in a 9-2 victory.

Junior Jefte Velez led off in the bottom of the first, and reached on an error by the Yellow Jackets second baseman. Velez got into scoring position after a stolen base, and then scored on an RBI double from freshman third baseman Jake Reidy.

Going into the bottom of the second inning with a 1-0 lead, the Cougars looked to extend the lead. Junior Jon Rivera and freshman Peter Liloia got things going with back to back singles to start the inning. Freshman Chris Zweifach followed that up with a walk, loading the bases. Velez then hit an RBI single, making it 2-0. Freshman catcher Caleb Jordan doubled the Cougars lead after collecting two RBI's on a double, expanding the lead to 4-0. With Velez and Jordan both in scoring position, junior Joel Felten collected an RBI on a squeeze play and then Jordan scored on a Yellow Jacket error on the same play, giving Clearwater a 6-0 lead.

Rivera had an opportunity to start things up in the bottom of the third as he led off, and reached base on an error by Cedarville's first baseman, and Liloia came through again with another single, putting runners at first and second with no outs. Liloia finished the game with three hits and scored two runs. Zweifach reached base on a bunt. Jordan reached on an error, scoring Liloia, as he collected his third RBI of the game. After three innings, Clearwater led 8-0.

In the fifth inning, with two outs and no one on, Reidy hit his second double of the game, and then scored on a single from Felten, which was Felten's second RBI of the day, expanding the lead to 9-0.

Meanwhile, starting pitcher Will Kirby took a three hitter into the seventh inning. In the top half of the inning, Cedarville collected three hits, including a two RBI double from third baseman Harrison Martin, cutting the Cougars lead to 9-2.

Kirby (2-3) picked up the win, throwing eight innings, scattering six hits, walking three, and giving up two earned runs. Freshman Garrett Johns threw a scoreless ninth inning, which included a double play from the Cougars infield, and was the second of the game.

Yellow Jackets starting pitcher David Ledbetter (0-1) took the loss.

Six of the nine Cougars starters scored, and all reached base by a walk or hit.

Clearwater improves to 4-12, and Cedarville drops to 0-1.

Clearwater will host Goshen College for a 2:30pm game, followed by a night cap against Cedarville University with a scheduled start time at 6:00pm.

Notes: Velez and Reidy extended their hitting streaks to six games...Kirby matched a career high throwing eight innings...Jordan set a career high collecting 3 RBI's...Liloia set a career high with three hits in a game...Clearwater collected thirteen hits...first win against Cedarville since February 27, 2010.