The Cougars used an outstanding pitching performance from Josh Morgan and 16 hits to run-rule their guests by a final score of 11-1 and in the process take two of three games in the TCCAA Region VII Conference weekend series. The Cougars eight-game winning streak came to an end Saturday as the teams split their doubleheader. CCSC has won nine of its last 10 games.
“I’ll take nine out of 10 any day of the week,” said Cleveland State coach Mike Policastro. “We’ve had great starting pitching for the last several weeks. We got it again this weekend. We swung the bats well today, and really, all weekend. We let one get away from us (Saturday), but we bounced back today to win the series. Taking two of three keeps us right in the middle of the pack in the conference race with two weekends to go, so we’ll see what happens.”
The Cougars (22-16, 10-11) pounced early with three big runs in their first turn at the plate. Zach Janes started the rally with a double and moved to third on a single by Evan Speicher. Jammer Strickland plated both runners with a single and Keith Buckhault later pushed Strickland home with a sacrifice fly to center to give the home team a 3-0 lead.
The Cougars kept right on hitting, quickly putting the game out of reach with a six run outburst in the bottom of the fifth. Janes, Speicher and Strickland all singled to start the rally. Buckhault plated a run with a sacrifice fly to center and Chris Caffrey cleared the bases, dialing long distance for a grand slam. Janes put the finishing touches on the frame with an RBI single in his second trip to the plate in the inning to give the Cougars a nine run lead.
The home team ended the game early in its half of the seventh with the 10-run rule. Speicher again started things with a double and the next hitter, Jake Wright, put an end to the day’’s proceedings with a line drive deep into the trees beyond the left-field fence for a two-run dinger and a walk-off win for the Cougars.
Chris Adams doubled and scored in the bottom of the sixth on a groundout by Luke Toms as the Bucks (30-18, 12-9) avoided the shutout.
Morgan allowed only three hits as he went the distance to pick up the win while Jacob Toney took the loss for the Bucks.
The Cougars will travel to Tusculum College Wednesday for a pair of games with the Pioneers.