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MCLA splits with Hamilton in Winter Haven, stands at 3-2

Winter Haven, Fl- The MCLA baseball team split a doubleheader with Hamilton College, winning the opener 4-3 in eight innings, before dropping the nightcap 7-3.  The Trailblazers now stand at 3-2 on the Florida swing.

In the opening game, MCLA took a 3-1 lead through five innings behind starting pitcher DJ Clark.  Clark scattered five hits and struck out a pair, surrendering the lone run in the third inning.  The Trailblazers opened the scoring in the top of the first when Ross Miner's sacrifice fly scored Mike Sullivan, who opened the game with a triple.

MCLA tacked on a run in the third on some nifty base running by Joe Duncan.  After a single, he stole second and third, before scampering home on a wild pitch.

Hamilton began to rally in the sixth against MCLA reliever Chase Preite.  A leadoff double, followed by an error on Preite scored a run and gave Hamilton life.  He would eventually work out of the jam by leaving the bases loaded after striking out a pair and inducing a groundout to third base.

The Continentals would push the tying run across in the seventh off Sullivan and Miner's releif efforts sending the game into extra innings.

The Trailblazers rallied with two outs in the inning.  Preite doubled and came home when Rory Slattery's hard hit ball got through the Hamilton shortstop giving MCLA a one run lead.

Hamilton would not go quietly as they put runners on second and third with just one out.  Miner struck out the next batter for the second out.  Following a harmless walk to load the bases, he would induce a groundout to second base to end the game.

Miner earned the win covering the last two innings in relief.  Duncan led MCLA with a pair of hits and 4 stolen bases. 

In game two, MCLA fell behind early as Hamilton jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings off Trailblazer starter Jared Gersch.  MCLA would get a run back in the fifth when Joe Vaverka's RBI groundout scored Slattery.

Hamilton quickly answered with two runs in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach.

MCLA recieved solid efforts out of the bullpen from Alon Willing, who went 3 and 2/3 innings.  He only allowed 4 hits without an earned run. 

Sean Coyle led MCLA with a pair of hits in game two.

MCLA will challenge Gallaudet University tomorrow at 1:30pm in a doubleheader.

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