CSCC Sports Information Director
HARRIMAN — The Cleveland State baseball team hit the road for Roane State on Saturday afternoon to open their 2014 Region Conference schedule.
The Raiders pounded the Cougars into submission in the first game of the twinbill, by a lopsided 17-2 final score. The Cougars then bounced back nicely to gain a split by taking game two by a score of 7-2.
The Raiders got all the runs they would need to win game one in their first turn at the plate in the bottom of the first inning. Three singles, a double and a two-run triple produced seven runs right out of the gate, while a grand slam homer from Bo Henson capped the rally and the 11-run outburst.
The home team tacked on three more in the second frame and three more in the third, while the Cougars picked up single runs in the fourth and the fifth as game one ended quickly. Evan Speicher and Chris Caffrey had RBI singles for the Cougars.
Kegan Frederick suffered the loss for the Cougars (7-4, 1-1) while Jordan Whitmire, Gabe Rich and Matt Allen all pitched in relief. Jordan Craighead tossed all five innings allowing only five hits along the way for the Raiders to get the win.
The Cougars got over game one in a hurry as they got back to business in game two. The Cougars’ Bobby Towne and the Raiders’ Joe Braun took turns sitting the opposition down through the first few frames before the home team managed to scratch out a run in the bottom of the third as Henson once again delivered the RBI for a 1-0 lead.
The lead held up until the top of the fifth, when the Cougars exploded for six big runs as the bats finally arrived at the park. Jammer Strickland doubled in a pair of runs to put the Cougars on top for the first time, and Caffrey singled in Strickland for a 3-1 lead. Jared Davis followed suit with an RBI single. Wright Hackett did the same while the Raiders walked Cole Baxley with the bases loaded for run number six of the inning.
Strickland singled in another run in the seventh to pad the Cougar lead, and the Raiders got that run back in their last at-bat, but Towne finished what he started as he slammed the door to get the win in game two. Towne went the distance scattering seven hits along the way. Braun took the loss for the Raiders while Ben Redden, Ralph O'Neal and Matt Smith all pitched in relief.
The teams will meet for the rubber game of the three-game set on Sunday afternoon at 1.