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Baseball Season Review

The 2013 Cougars baseball capped off their season at the NCCAA DII College World Series in Mason, Ohio, finishing fourth after going 2-2 at the national tournament. The World Series appearance was the second time in three seasons, after finishing as the national runner-up in 2012. Clearwater garnered multiple post season awards as freshman Jake Reidy was named as an NCCAA DII Second Team All-American and First Team All-Region. Freshman Wade Irwin was also named to the First Team All-Region, and junior Noel Thomas was named as an All-Region Honorable Mention. Junior Joel Felten was named to the Scholar-Athlete team for his academic success.

Clearwater picked up quality wins against NCAA DII programs Eckerd College, Cedarville University, and Ohio Valley University and also against NAIA opponents Ave Maria University and Goshen College. The season included three walk off victories, including two in the same day. The first walk off win came against Hiwassee College on February 23 after junior Joel Felten hit a walk off single to give the Cougars a 4-3 win in the bottom of the seventh. The second walk off victory came in the night cap of the same double header, as freshman Chris Zweifach took home on a passed ball to win 5-4. The third walk off victory, which came one week later against Goshen College, had a different twist then the first two. In extra innings, junior Jon Rivera squeezed home junior Noel Thomas for a 6-5 win.

The Cougars scored nine or more runs in seven games, winning four of those. The most runs Clearwater scored in a game this season was in a 13-10 loss to Cedarville University on March 2. Eleven of the Cougars losses were by three runs or less, with six of those by just one run.

Clearwater squared off against St. Petersburg College for the Second Annual Mayor's Cup on April 20, which was the first time the Cougars hosted it. Clearwater fell to SPC in a 2-1 pitcher's duel. Mayor of Clearwater, George Cretekos, was on hand for the first pitch.

After receiving an at-large bid to the NCCAA DII World Series, the Cougars were the #4 seed entering the tournament, and finished in fourth place, after being eliminated by conference foe Florida Christian College.

Freshmen starting pitchers Stephen Martin and Wade Irwin led the pitching staff with five wins each.

Team awards were given to four individuals. Jake Reidy was named the team MVP, Chris Zweifach received the Gold Glove Award, David Edwards was named the Best Offensive Player, and Wade Irwin was given the Best Pitcher Award.

The team finished with a 14-36 record.

Following the season Coach Rebandt said, "We got better as the season went on. There were teams we lost to in February that we beat when we faced them again in late March and early April. This group of guys went through a lot this year, and with the dedication they showed through the four month season is why we ended up at the World Series. All I can ask for is that they play hard day in and day out, getting better each day, and we did that."

The Cougars look forward to building upon their 2013 success as they start up fall ball in early September.

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