The TFC Eagles (22 – 12) hosted the Clearwater Christian Cougars (9 – 29) on Friday afternoon in game one of a three game series. The Eagles used an explosive offensive and shutdown pitching to top the Cougars 13 – 1 and lock up first place in the region standings.
TFC jumped to an early 4 – 0 lead in the bottom of the first and added five runs in third to take a 9 – 0 lead through three innings. Clearwater’s lead off man David Edwards would score CCC’s only run with a Jake Reidy RBI single in the top of the fifth. TFC answered with three runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth. After TFC reliever Brady McMichael shut down the Cougars in the top 7th, the game ended by run rule, 13 – 1.
Eagles starting pitcher Dylan Charles earned his seventh win of the season with five innings of work, allowing just three hits and an earned run. Charles walked six and struck out four. McMichael finished with two innings, no hits, no runs, one walk, and one strike out. Clearwater starting pitcher Will Kirby and reliever Taylor Hill combined to allow 13 hits, 12 runs, 10 earned runs, and two strikeouts in four innings of work.
At the plate, TFC totaled 17 hits led by Josh Ward’s 3 – 5 performance. Ward drove in two runs, stole a base, and scored a run as well. Adam Reynolds, Justin Key, Zach Warner, Ronnie Stewart, Corey Warner and Josh Hill each had two hits for the Eagles. Reynolds and Hill had two RBI’s each and Stewart added three runs batted in. Zach Warner, Key, and Reynolds each scored two runs in the win.
With the win, TFC improved their conference record to 7 – 1 and will be the top seed in the south’s regional tournament to be held in Kissimmee, Florida on April 25 – 27. Toccoa Falls and Clearwater will conclude their five game season series with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1:00.