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Titans Beat Cougars in Cross-Town Showdown for the Mayor's Cup
On Saturday evening, the Cougars hosted St. Petersburg College for the second annual Mayor's Cup at Jack Russell Stadium. In a game that saw both starting pitchers dominate the opposing lineups, the Titans came away with a 2-1 victory.
St. Pete scored in the top of the first after Eric Schindler and Kyle Schindler both reached on errors, which was followed by an RBI single off the bat of the Titans third baseman, Dexture McCall. Cougars starting pitcher Will Kirby then retired the next two hitters he faced on strikes to end the threat.
Clearwater bounced back in the bottom half of the first, after Titans starting pitcher Kit Fowler walked leadoff hitter David Edwards to start the inning. Edwards scored later in the inning after junior Noel Thomas reached on a fielder's choice, beating out a potential inning ending double play.
The winning run for St. Pete came in the top of the fourth, after the Cougars infield made three errors. Designated hitter Jordan Taylor scored the go head run when second baseman Jacob Lopez reached on a two out error to take a 2-1 lead. Kirby left the bases loaded despite the three errors in the inning after retiring right fielder Eric Schindler on a ground out.
Kirby (2-9) threw a complete game, striking out eight, yielding four hits, walking two, and not allowing an earned run. He retired the side 1-2-3 in four different innings.
Kit Fowler picked up the win for St. Pete College, going the distance, striking out three, allowing six hits, and walking one. He set the Cougars down in order four times over the course of the game.
Clearwater stranded the tying run on base in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.
The first six hitters in the Cougars lineup collected base hits, which were scattered throughout the evening.
St. Petersburg College has now won the Mayor's Cup for the second year in a row after the 2-1 victory Saturday night. Pitching has dominated the Mayor's Cup both years.
Coach Rebandt said, "Kirby threw fantastic. That was one of the best games I've seen him throw in his career. Our starting pitching is getting hot at the right time as we enter our regional tournament next weekend, and that will make a difference. Fowler was just as tough. He pitched well inside the strike zone and got outs. We have another big week ahead of us--this is an exciting time of year."
Clearwater finishes their regular season with a 11-32 record, and the Titans are now 23-27. The Cougars will open up the 2013 NCCAA DII Regional Tournament in Kissimmee on Thursday, April 25 at 1:00pm at Osceola County Stadium, the spring training home for the Houston Astros. Clearwater, the #3 seed, will play #2 Florida Christian College in the regional opener. Regardless of what happens against the Suns, Clearwater will play #1 Toccoa Falls College at 3:30pm for the night cap.
Notes: Mayor George Cretekos (Clearwater) was on hand for the ceremonial first pitch...Kirby's outing is the longest of his college career and has started on the mound in each of the first two Mayor's Cup games...Cougars fifth one run loss this season and second this weekend...pitcher's duel for the second year in a row...2014 Mayor's Cup scheduled for Wednesday, April 23.
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