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Hawks Top Cougars 5-2 in South Regional Opener

Clearwater opened the NCCAA South Regional tournament on Thursday afternoon as the #3 seed, squaring off against Shorter University, the #2 seed. The game was tied 0-0 going into the bottom of the sixth and then the Hawks plated two runs to take the lead.

With one out, shortstop Zach Santos singled for Shorter in the sixth. Then, first baseman Bryan Mathews was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out. Right fielder Ian Redetzky collected the first RBI of the game on a single, scoring Santos and giving SU a 1-0 advantage. The lead extended to 2-0 on a 4-6 fielder's choice putout off the bat of third baseman Jesse Gavigan.

CCC cut their deficit in half after freshman Tim Reidy hit a solo home in the top of the seventh.

Shorter put three more runs across in the bottom of the seventh. Their first three hitters reached base in the inning. Center fielder Dylan Riner hit an RBI double, Riner scored on a balk, and Mathews hit a sacrifice fly.

Clearwater plated a run in the top of the eighth after T. Reidy knocked in his second RBI of the game on a 4-3 putout with runners at second and third. CCC couldn't put together a big inning and stranded six runners in the contest.

Sophomore Jake Reidy went 2-4 with a stolen base, leading the Cougars offensively. Freshman Austin Yeoman went 1-1 and scored a run.

Junior Will Kirby (5-6) took the loss throwing 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, walking one, and striking out one. Freshman Michael Calabrese threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief.

Clearwater will play Johnson University, the #4 seed, at 11:00am tomorrow morning in an elimination game. The winner will play again on Friday night at 5:00pm.

NOTES: J. Reidy made his first start since Friday, February 28th after being hit by a pitch in the hand...Cougars are 4-1 against Johnson University this year...T. Reidy's home run is the first of his career.