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Clearwater Drops Game Three to #25 Ave Maria

Clearwater and Ave Maria squared off for game three at Bowie's Ballpark on Saturday afternoon with the series even at 1-1.

Game three continued the trend of the weekend with the losing side in each game of the series not able to push a run across the plate. Ave Maria put their first run across in the bottom of the third when designated hitter Aaron Pigna hit an RBI single through the left side of the infield scoring third baseman Christian Sanchez, giving the Gyrenes a 1-0 lead.

The Cougars stranded two runners in both the fifth and sixth innings. In the top half of the sixth, Clearwater had runners at the corners with one out, while trailing 1-0. It looked like the maroon and black would tie the game, but a ground ball to Sanchez, the Gyrenes third baseman, off the bat of sophomore Emmanuel Chmielewski, allowed them to catch senior David Edwards on the base path between third and home for the second out. With a runner still in scoring position, the Gyrenes relief pitcher Taylor Walker induced a fly ball out to right field to end the inning, keeping Clearwater off the board.

Through the first twenty-one and a half innings played over the weekend, neither team scored more than one run in any inning of the series until the Gyrenes plated four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Catcher Connor Sullivan hit an RBI single, left fielder Patrick Fahey recorded an RBI with a bases loaded walk, shortstop Andre Steadman recorded an RBI on a fielder's choice, and third baseman Christian Sanchez hit an RBI single, which extended the Gyrenes lead to 5-0, the biggest lead of the weekend by either team.

Senior Kyle Leja (1-1) took the the loss after tossing five and a third innings, allowing five runs, three earned, scattering five hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Gyrenes starter Austin Munn earned the win throwing five and a third innings of his own, not allowing a run, and striking out six.

Sanchez led the offense for Ave Maria going 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Senior Joel Felten had a multi-hit game finishing 2-3 for Clearwater.

The 0-5 loss puts Clearwater at 3-6 overall and extends the Gyrenes overall record to 10-4. Clearwater will be heading to Webber International University in Babson Park, FL on Tuesday evening for a 7:00pm start.

NOTES: Edwards had five free passes over the weekend, including leading off game one and game two of the series with a walk...Gyrenes won the series the past two weekend series that Clearwater has played, the Cougars are 3-3, and the losing team in the wins and losses have been shut out in all six games...Leja struck out the side in the bottom of the second inning...only five different pitchers have been used by Clearwater in the past seven games.