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Cougars Win NCCAA DII South Regional Opener
Clearwater traveled to Kissimmee, Florida for the NCCAA DII South Region opener on Thursday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium. In the opener, freshman Stephen Martin threw a complete game en route to a Cougars victory, 5-2.
The Suns scored their only two runs off Martin in the third inning as Harry Amadeo and Mark Vidal both crossed the plate. Amadeo, who singled to start the inning, scored on a triple off Vidal's bat, and Vidal scored on a sacrifice fly from Andres Cancio.
Trailing 2-0 heading into the top of the fifth, Clearwater answered with four runs. Junior David Edwards was walked to lead off the inning and was followed by a single from fellow junior Jefte Velez. Junior Joel Felten singled to load the bases, with one out. Junior first baseman Noel Thomas was then walked, forcing in Edwards, and making it a 2-1 game. Freshman catcher Caleb Jordan had a productive plate appearance, hitting a sacrifice fly to the outfield, which scored Velez to tie the game. Sophomore Justin Capela and freshman Peter Liloia kept things going hitting back to back singles, each collecting RBI's. Freshman Chris Zweifach was retired on strikes to end the threat, but not before the Cougars rallied for four runs to take a 4-2 lead.
The Cougars plated another run in the sixth after Felten collected an RBI on a bunt single that scored Velez from third, giving Martin another insurance run.
Martin (4-8) finished the game throwing seven innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out three. He faced the minimum in three of seven innings.
Andres Cancio took the loss for Florida Christian College after throwing 4 2/3 innings, yielding four earned runs, and striking out eight.
Felten went 4-4 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI. Velez had a 2-4 performance and scored twice. Freshman Peter Liloia IV collected pair of hits and an RBI as well.
The win puts the Cougars one win away from the Regional Final, as they will play in a semi-final match up against Toccoa Falls College at 4:00pm.
Notes: Martin collected his fourth win which is 2nd highest amongst the pitching staff...Felten's four hits is the second time he has reached that feat this season as he had a five hit performance against Olivet Nazarene University back on March 8th...Edwards had a put out in an inning ending double play in the fourth inning scored as a 9-3 DP...Clearwater hit safely eleven times...first regional win since 2011.
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