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Cougars Win Game Three, Take Series
Heading into the third game of the weekend between Hiwassee College and Clearwater, the series was knotted at 1-1. After a pair of pitcher's duels in the first two games, the Cougars scored seven runs behind Senior Kyle Leja's complete game shutout in a 7-0 win.
After Leja worked out of a jam in the top of the first unscathed, Clearwater's first five hitters in the lineup all reached base and scored in the bottom of the first. Senior David Edwards was issued a free pass to start the inning, followed by fellow senior Jefte Velez who reached safely on a bunt single. Sophomore Emmanuel Chmielewski then followed with a bunt single of his own and the ball was thrown away on the play, scoring both Edwards and Velez, giving Clearwater a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Jake Reidy was walked, putting runners at the corners with no outs. Chmielewski, who had previously advanced to third on the ball that was thrown over the first baseman's head on his bunt single, scored on a wild pitch during senior Joel Felten's plate appearance, who also walked in the inning. Freshman Tim Reidy brought his brother home on a squeeze play, extending the lead to 4-0. After a single from freshman Austin Yeoman that advanced Felten to third base, freshman Nick Abbruzzese hit a sacrifice fly to the outfield, plating one more run in the bottom half of the first, making it 5-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, Clearwater pushed across two more runs after freshman Justin Holmes collected an RBI and T. Reidy hit an RBI single. That would complete the scoring for the Cougars in the 7-0 victory.
After the Tigers lead off hitter Matt Taylor was stranded on third base in the first inning, only one base runner reached second for the remainder of the game. Leja (1-0) threw seven innings, scattered three hits, walked one, and struck out seven to earn his first win of the season.
Freshman Austin Yeoman finished 2-3 with a walk.
The win advances the Cougars record to 2-3 and the Tigers drop to 1-2 overall. Clearwater will be back in action on Tuesday evening for a midweek game with Warner University set for a 7:15pm start at Frank Tack Park.
NOTES: Yeoman collected his first hit and multi-hit game of his career...Clearwater stole five bases...Leja's first start since April 26, 2012 and first complete game since March 10, 2012 when the Cougars beat Alice Lloyd College 3-1...Cougars did not use any relievers over the weekend after receiving three complete games from starting pitching...Holmes collected the first RBI of his career...Velez and Chmielewski scored two runs each...T. Reidy collected two RBI's, his second multi-RBI game this season...Cougars past four wins have been shutouts, dating back to last May at the NCCAA DII College World Series.
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