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Cougars Ride Martin's Complete Game Gem to Victory
The Cougars entered Tuesday evening's game against Ohio Valley University hoping to get their first midweek game victory this season. Freshman starting pitcher Stephen Martin aided the cause in a complete game effort.
Ohio Valley, who entered the game with a 2-6 record, got on the board in the first inning. With runners on first and second and two outs, the Fighting Scots second baseman Mason Rine hit a groundball in the hole between third and short, and a diving Justin Capela kept the ball on the infield, but tried to throw Rine out at first. The one hop throw got past first baseman Noel Thomas, scoring Tyler Wharton, as Ohio Valley took a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the first inning, junior David Edwards led off with a walk. Junior Jefte Velez and freshman Jake Reidy were both hit by a pitch, loading the bases with no outs. Junior Joel Felten recorded a single, scoring both Edwards and Velez, giving Clearwater a 2-1 advantage. Felten then stole second, and on a throwing error, Reidy was able to score, and Felten advanced to third on the same play. Thomas knocked in Felten with an RBI single to left field, spreading the lead to 4-1.
Clearwater stole four bases in the top of the first.
In the top of the fourth, with the Cougars ahead 4-1, Ohio Valley started to get things going. First baseman Justin Gil reached on an error to start the inning, which was followed by two quick outs. With Gil at third base, right fielder Chris Perna singled him home, and Perna eventually scored on an RBI single from lead off hitter Michael Shepherd, who finished 2-4 with a walk and an RBI, cutting their deficit to 4-3. One of Martin's seven strikeouts on the night ended the Fighting Scots threat in the inning as he struck out Tyler Wharton looking on a fastball.
After the fourth inning, Martin got into a groove, allowing just one hit over his last five innings.
In the Cougars half of the seventh, Thomas collected his second RBI of the game, scoring Reidy on a double to right field. Thomas finished with a 2-4 day and two RBI's. Sophomore Justin Capela also had a two hit game, hitting an RBI single that scored Thomas, extending the lead to 6-3.
Freshman catcher Caleb Jordan went 2-3 with a walk.
Martin (2-3) picked up the win throwing nine innings, recording seven strikeouts, allowing just one earned run, and three walks.
Wharton took the loss for Ohio Valley after completing six innings of work.
The Cougars are now 6-19, and will look ahead to Saturday afternoon as they travel to Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida for a twin bill starting at 12:00pm.
Notes: Martin's complete game is the second of the season and his career...his nine innings pitched is a career high...eight of the nine Cougars hitters recorded base hits...Cougars picked up their first midweek game of the season...Clearwater scored four runs in the first inning which is a season high for their first at bats...Felten is hitting .444 over the past five games...Clearwater snapped their seven game skid...Cougars swiped six bags...Jordan has hit safely in the past five games and recorded his fourth multi-hit game of the season.
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