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Clearwater Drops Second Round Game to Toccoa Falls College
After advancing in the winner's bracket after winning the first game of the World Series against Arlington Baptist College 2-0, the Cougars were matched up against rival Toccoa Falls College. The Eagles advanced in the winner's bracket after defeating Cairn University 11-0.
The match up was the seventh time these two teams have faced off against each other. The Cougars sent junior Kyle Baitz to the mound for his first start against the Eagles this year. Baitz entered the game 1-1 with a save and seventeen appearances, and was the second game he has started this season.
After recording two quick outs in the top of the first, Baitz issued a walk to shortstop Jordan Couillard, and then the Eagles bats heated up. Four different Toccoa hitters recorded RBI's in the inning, and took a 4-0 advantage in the top of the first.
Baitz (1-2) took the loss after throwing two innings, and allowing four earned runs on five hits and a walk.
Toccoa put one run across in the second, three in the third, four in the fourth, one in the fifth, and three in the seventh. Third baseman Corey Warner went 3-4 with a walk and a run scored for the Eagles.
Justin Key, the starting pitcher for Toccoa, picked up the win, throwing four innings of shut out baseball before turning it over to the Eagles bullpen for the final three innings.
Clearwater put two runs across in the seventh, after juniors David Edwards and Jefte Velez were issued back to back walks to start the inning. Junior Joel Felten singled in Edwards, and Velez scored on a passed ball. Freshman Jake Reidy collected two hits, finishing 2-4 in the game.
The Cougars stranded two runners in the first and second innings, and then left the bases loaded in the third, as Key induced a ground out in each of those innings to shut down Clearwater's offense.
With the 16-2 loss, the Cougars fall into the loser's bracket, and will have to fight their way to the national championship game by winning their next three games, and then would need to beat the winner's bracket champion twice to secure a National Championship.
The Cougars are slated to play tomorrow evening at 5:00pm at Prasco Park against the winner of the Lincoln Christian University/Ohio Christian University match up.
Notes: Felten stole his third bag of the World Series and fifteenth of the season...Hill made his seventeenth appearance...most runs in a World Series game for TFC with 16...Martin made his debut as a designated hitter and played defensively at first base, also collecting his second base hit of the Series...Clearwater is now 5-3 at the NCCAA DII College World Series within their two appearances in the past three seasons.
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