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Maroon and Black Win Series After Doubleheader Sweep At PHSC
The Cougars trailed in the first thirteen of the sixteen innings played of the series heading into game three of the weekend, but with the series tied at 1-1. CCC turned the tables and jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and never looked back as they swept the doubleheader at Pasco-Hernando State College on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Will Kirby (4-3) took the mound and hurled five innings, allowed one unearned run, yielded five hits, did not allow a free pass, and struck out one.
After a pair of walks and an error to start the top of the first for Clearwater, senior Joel Felten hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored fellow senior David Edwards. Sophomore Emmanuel Chmielewski collected an RBI single that scored freshman Nathan Stanley to give CCC a 2-0 lead. Velez scored in the inning to finish the Cougars attack in the first, extending the lead to 3-0.
Pasco-Hernando plated one run in the bottom of the second after left fielder Brennan Allen hit a sacrifice fly to score center fielder Justin Ortiz, making it a 3-1 game.
Clearwater bounced right back in the top of the third after the first three runners reached on free passes. Felten scored on a 6-4-3 double play and then freshman Nick Abbruzzese hit an RBI single to plate the second run of the inning, giving the Cougars a 5-1 lead.
PHSC scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to cut their deficit to 5-2, but once again CCC answered with more runs of their own in the top of the seventh. Chmielewski collected an RBI on a bases loaded walk and then freshman Matt Schaefer knocked in a run on a sacrifice fly. Felten scored for the second time of the game later in the inning to take an 8-2 advantage.
Sophomore Brandon Gonzalez threw two innings of relief in the sixth and seventh to finish the game for CCC. His line finished with two earned runs, two base hits, no walks, and no strikeouts.
Clearwater only recorded four base hits in the eight run burst, with no players having a multi-hit game. The Cougars were issued ten free passes in the game, including Edwards who was walked three times in the lead off spot.
PHSC's Robby McCabe led all hitters in the series by going 7-12 with three RBI's, three runs scored, and two doubles.
The 8-3 win pushes the Cougars to 13-19 overall and drops Pasco-Hernando State College to 18-13. Clearwater won the series 2-1.
Clearwater will next travel to St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening for a 7:00pm start at Eckerd College. In the last six contests between the Cougars and Tritons, the series is tied 3-3. Eckerd won 15-4 the last time these two teams met back on February 4th earlier this season.
NOTES: Clearwater is now 9-2 when scoring at least five runs...before today, CCC's last win against Pasco-Hernando State College was on March 2, 2010 in a 7-6 victory on a walk-off single...Kirby is tied for a team-high four wins with teammate Stephen Martin...first time Clearwater has bounced back to win a weekend series after dropping the series opener in over at least six years...fourth time the Cougars have swept a doubleheader this season...all three games of the series were decided by a difference of five runs (Game 1: 5-10, Game 2: 9-4, Game 3: 8-3).
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