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Mt. Vernon Wins Pitcher's Duel 4-1
The Cougars traveled to the campus of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida to take on Mount Vernon Nazarene University in the first of two games on Saturday afternoon.
Mount Vernon has been a familiar face in the NAIA postseason tournament over the past three years, and they claimed the Mid-Central College Conference tournament championship in 2012. Clearwater sent sophomore Justin Capela to the mound in hopes of shutting down their undeafeated opponent.
In the bottom of the first, MVNU put across two runs as designated hitter Jake Dickinson hit an RBI single that scored Sterling Harpst, followed by a double off the bat of Cory Brown, giving the opposing Cougars a 2-0 lead.
Clearwater answered back in the second inning after freshman Caleb Jordan singled with one out, stole second, and then scored on an RBI single to right from junior Jon Rivera, cutting the deficit to 2-1. The Cougars stranded two runners after MVNU's starting pitcher Lucas Daugherty induced a groundball out to end the attack.
With two outs and no one on in the bottom of the fourth, Kenny McCambridge was hit by a pitch. Sterling Harpst and Seth Eller strung together back to back singles, as Harpst recorded an RBI and then scored on a passed ball, extending their lead to 4-1.
The Cougars had one hitter reach base in their last four at bats, as junior David Edwards reached on an error in the sixth inning.
Daugherty threw a complete game for Mount Vernon and only yielded three hits, one earned run, and struck out seven, as he picked up his first collegiate win in the first start of his career.
Capela threw well for Clearwater, also throwing a complete game, giving up two earned runs, scattering seven hits, walking two, and striking out two. He retired the last seven hitters he faced.
The pitcher's duel took just over ninety minutes to complete the fast paced game.
Clearwater has lost their last six contests, and are now 5-18. The Mount Vernon Nazarene University Cougars are now 4-0 on their young season.
Notes: The last time these two teams faced off was on March 28, 2009 as MVNU swept a double header...Capela threw his first complete game of the season...Jordan and Velez each stole a base...Jordan, who had started the first twenty-three games catching, got his first start at shortstop...Liloia IV made his first start as the Cougars back stop, who has spent most of the season as the DH...Edwards made his first start in 2013 after recovering from an ACL injury.
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