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Cougars Erupt For Nine Runs in Victory Against Lincoln Christian University
In an elimination game on Thursday evening, Clearwater squared off against the NCCAA DII Midwest Region champions, Lincoln Christian University. Both teams entered the game with a win and loss.
The Red Lions were coming off a 4-3 walk off win against Ohio Christian University earlier in the day, after Ty Unger, an NCCAA DII Second Team All-American, hit a game winning single to advance to face Clearwater.
Sophomore Will Kirby (3-10) got the nod as the starting pitcher for Clearwater, making his first World Series appearance, and threw four shut-out innings, striking out five, and allowing two hits. He recorded eight outs before an LCU hitter reached base.
Junior's David Edwards and Jefte Velez recorded back to back singles to start off the top of the first for Clearwater. Freshman Jake Reidy followed both of them with a two RBI double to the left centerfield wall, giving the Cougars an early 2-0 lead. Reidy scored on a passed ball, giving Clearwater their third run in the inning.
After freshman Peter Liloia singled to start the second inning, fellow freshman Chris Zweifach singled in Liloia to make it 4-0. Zweifach finished going 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored, and reaching base in all three plate appearances.
In the third, Thomas and Liloia both recorded an RBI after a sacrifice fly each. Reidy and junior Joel Felten scored in the inning.
Edwards, who finished 3-4 with an RBI, two runs scored, and a triple, knocked in Zweifach on his triple in the fourth. Edwards scored on the Cougars third sacrifice fly of the game, this time off the bat of Jefte Velez.
Clearwater scored again in the fifth, making it five consecutive innings plating at least one run, after freshman Caleb Jordan hit an RBI double scoring Thomas, who also doubled in the inning. Jordan's RBI made it a 9-0 lead.
The Red Lions collected four hits, as Joey Burge, Micah Wolf, Michael Brannock, and Landon Liga recorded a base hit each.
Burge took the loss for LCU after throwing a complete game.
Freshman Garrett Johns threw two scoreless innings of middle relief for Clearwater, allowing just two baserunners. Caleb Jordan threw a scoreless seventh to close out the win.
The Cougars advance to the quarter final game in the loser's bracket after the 9-0 win this evening, and are just two wins away from the Championship series. Clearwater will play the winner of the Florida Christian College/Cairn University game tomorrow afternoon at 4:30pm at Prasco Park.
Notes: Second shutout by the Cougars pitching staff in three games at the World Series...Jordan made his first appearance of his career out of the bullpen...Clearwater stole five bases and have stolen sixty-three to date.
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