The Cleveland State baseball team split its TCCAA Region VII Conference doubleheader with Motlow State on a beautiful spring Saturday afternoon at Cougar Field.
Bobby Towne turned in an outstanding pitching performance in game one as the Cougars held on for a 2-1 win. The Bucks rebounded in game two to come from behind for a 5-4 victory.
Runs were hard to come by in the first game of the day. The Cougars managed to scratch out one run in the bottom of the second inning when Wright Hackett singled, stole second then scored on a sharp single from Chris Caffrey.
The Cougars doubled their lead with a run in the sixth frame after Dalton Rogers started the rally with a two-bagger and came around to score on a single from Jared Davis to push the lead to 2-0.
The Bucks mounted a rally in their last at bat in the seventh as a pair of singles led to a run. But Townes left the tying run on base finishing game one with a strikeout to secure the win.
Towne (6-2) tossed a gem for the Cougars going the distance to pick up the win allowing only three hits and striking out six along the way. Elliott Bush took the loss for the Bucks.
The Cougars jumped out to an early lead in game two when Clay Hetland dialed long distance in the bottom of the second inning with a solo homer to put the home team on top, 1-0.
The Bucks took their first lead of the afternoon in the top of the third as Luke Toms belted a two-run homer.
The lead didn't last long as the Cougars came right back with a three-spot in their half of the third. Singles by Anthony Hunt and Evan Speicher and a free pass to Zach Janes loaded the bases for Rogers and Jammer Strickland who came through with an RBI single each to put Cleveland State on top, 4-2.
The Bucks see-sawed back in front in the top of the sixth after Clayton Palicki singled in a pair of runs while the go-ahead run crossed on a Cougar miscue for a 5-4 Motlow advantage.
The Cougars got the tying run as far as third base in their final turn at the plate, but a nice grab of a line drive by the Bucks shortstop saved the day for the visitors who gained a split of the twinbill.
Matt Sharp picked up the win for Motlow State (30-17, 12-8) while Nathan Hammer got the save. Jake Wright suffered the loss for the Cougars (21-16, 9-11) while Kegan Frederick pitched in relief.
The Cougars and Bucks will finish the series today starting at noon.