|Stetson Deals Maine Loss in Pitching Duel|
DeLand, Fla. - Stetson remained hot Sunday afternoon and pushed its season-opening win streak to five games after taking a 3-1 pitching duel from Maine (0-5). Stetson starter Lindsey Caughel (Orlando, Fla.) tossed 7.2 innings allowing just one run on four hits while striking out eight batters. He earned the win to go 1-0 on the season. Robbie Powell (Punta Gorda, Fla.) pitched a scoreless 9th for the Hatters picking up one strike out and his second save of the season.
"He [Caughel] struggled in the first inning and gave up a run but he pitched his way out of it and then settled down", said Stetson head coach Pete Dunn. "That's what we preach to our starters you're not going to go out there every time and dominate from the get go."
Maine hurler Jeffrey Gibbs (Toronto, Ontario) surrendered a pair of runs in the 1st inning and then pitched well for the next four in his second appearance of the season. He struck out five Hatters yet fell to 0-2 on the season.
After Maine struck first with a run in the top of the 1st inning Stetson came right back and took the lead with two runs in the bottom half. Jeff Simpson (Valrico, Fla.) led off with a walk and then advanced to third on a single to right field by Spencer Theisen (Longwood, Fla.). After stealing second base Theisen moved up to 3rd and Simpson scored on a balk by Gibbs. One out later Ben Carhart (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) came through with an infield single that scored Theisen.
For the next four and a half innings both starters pitched well and held the batters in check. In the bottom of the 6th Stetson broke through with an insurance run when Carhart ripped his first home run of the season well over the left field fence.
The Black Bears put themselves in solid position to add a run in the top of the 8th. With one out Matt Verrier (Norway, Maine) came through with a pinch hit single and then left for pinch runner Troy Black (Mississauga, Ontario). Then with two outs Taylor Lewis (Montville, Conn.) stepped in against Stetson reliever Cameron Griffin (Naples, Fla.). Lewis belted a double to left center field sending Black around 3rd base and on his way home. Left fielder Simpson cut the ball off and got it quickly in to the relay man Robert Crews (Port Charlotte, Fla.) who turned and gunned Black out at the plate. It was the second assist on a play at the plate in as many games for Simpson.
"This was a good ball game I am proud of our ball club. We made a big defensive play there throwing the guy out at the plate. That's why we work on relays in practice to get a big play like that it was huge. Simpson got to the ball quickly and Robert made a strong throw to the plate", said Dunn.
Carhart finished the game 2-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and a pair of RBI. Theisen, Crews, and Trey Blackman (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) also picked up base hits for the Hatters.
Next up the Hatters will host the University of Maine on Monday night and then again on Tuesday night. Both games will be played at 6:30 p.m. on Melching Field. Stetson fans can see the games on Hatter Vision at GoHatters.com with Bill Topping calling the action. Tickets are available at the gate or can be purchased online at GoHatters.com or by calling 738-HATS.
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