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Trojans Spoil Cougars Opening Night
Taylor University came down south early for their season opener, as the Cougars hosted them on opening night. The Trojans scored thirteen runs on twelve hits in the game, and broke the 0-0 tie in the top of the fourth inning.
Sophomore Brandon Gonzalez (0-1) had the ball in the opener and kept the Trojans off the board in the first three innings. A pair of errors and free passes, along with a single put across three runs for Taylor, taking a 3-0 advantage after the top of the fourth. Taylor's left fielder, Kevin Fahy, had a two RBI single that first opened up the scoring, 2-0.
In the top of the fifth, Taylor put across three more runs, spreading their lead to 6-0. Danny Moorehead, the Trojans clean up hitter, hit a two run home run for the Taylor in the inning.
It wasn't until the bottom of the fifth that Josh DeGraaf (1-0), the Trojans starting pitcher did not face the minimum, but the Cougars still came up scoreless.
Taylor added two more runs in the top of the seventh and five more runs in the top of the eighth inning. Gonzalez received the loss after throwing four-plus innings, giving up two earned runs, allowing four free passes, and scattering six hits.
DeGraaf earned the win for Taylor, throwing four strong innings, striking out five, and allowing just two hits in his season debut.
Senior Joel Felten finished 2-3 with a pair of singles, and Sophomore Emmanuel Chmielewski added the only other hit.
Junior Will Kirby made an appearance out of the bullpen throwing a scoreless ninth inning while striking out two.
The 13-0 loss for Clearwater puts their season record at 0-1, and the win for the Trojans gives them a 1-0 record to start the year.
Clearwater will be on the road this weekend at Northwood University for a three game series starting Friday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 2:30pm.
NOTES: This was the first ever meeting between Taylor University and Clearwater...Felten extends his hitting streak continued from 2013 to eight games...the Cougars were caught stealing twice...tonight was Gonzalez's first regular season start since his season-ending injury last year...Cougars pitching surrendered eleven free passes...Cougars turned two double plays with freshman Gabe Gali being a part of both of them.
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