Edward Waters Baseball Opens Season With Home Win Over Bluefield

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Jacksonville, Florida – An overcast afternoon, could not dampen the resolve a motivated Edward Waters baseball club as they were able to take a 5-3 victory over Bluefield in the 2020 season opener at the newly renovated James P. Small Memorial Baseball Park.

The Tigers (1-0) solid combination of stellar pitching, timely hitting, and outstanding defense proved to be the difference in the season opener over a team in Bluefield (0-1) that swept them in four games last season.

The scoring got started in the top of the 1st inning when Bluefield’s Ozzie Millet hit a towering solo homerun over the left center field wall off of EWC starter Julio Flores, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. EWC was able to respond in the bottom of the 1st, thanks to an RBI double from senior first baseman Cayden Frankie, which brought home junior right fielder Keilin Washington to knot the score at 1-1.

Both teams hit the scoreboard again in the third inning, when BC’s Joseph Cardona hit a single to score Andreas Holtzer to allow the Rams to retake the lead. Again, Edward Waters was up to the task in the home half of the third courtesy of an RBI double from junior designated hitter Joseph Eischen that scored senior left fielder Freddy Torres to once again tie the game, this time at 2-2.

The Tigers were able to get some separation from Bluefield in the bottom of the fifth inning with and RBI double from junior center fielder Damani Thomas, and an RBI single from Frankie, giving EWC a 4-2 lead.

The Rams got closer in the top of the seventh on a passed ball that scored a run to bring Bluefield within one run at 4-3. But in the home half of the seventh with one man out, Thomas delivered once again, this time smacking a homerun over the right field wall to give EWC an insurance run and extend their lead to 5-3.

Junior pitcher Cody Melton was able to come in to earn a six-out save, including striking out the last two batters of the game in the top of the ninth to give EWC the season and home opening win.

At the plate, it was Thomas and Frankie that led the day for EWC, both going 2-for-4 with two RBIs apiece and Thomas adding the solo homerun. Torres made a solid return to the team after a season ending leg injury in 2019, going 1-for-3 with one run scored.

Flores pitched 4.0 innings of solid baseball and was able to compose himself after giving up the first inning homerun. The Caracas, Venezuela native faced 17 batters, gave up two earned runs, walked one, and struck out five, including retiring the side in his final appearance of the day in the top of the fourth inning. Sophomore Marco Trejo earned the victory for Edward Waters on the mound, pitching 3.0 innings, allowing one earned run, walking four and striking out one. Melton closed things down with 2.0 innings pitched, one walk, and two strikeouts.

Bluefield’s Joseph Cardona led the Rams offensively, going 1-for-1 with three walks and one RBI. Andreas Holtzer and Eligha Lewis both went 1-for-3 at the plate, while Millet finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon with one homerun and one RBI.

On the mound, Nathan Cutler earned a no-decision pitching 4.0 innings, allowing two runs, one earned run, gave up two walks, four hits, five strikeouts, and one hit batter. Kody Gardere took the loss for the Rams, pitching 4.0 innings, allowing three earned runs, one walk, and two strikeouts.

Edward Waters and Bluefield will continue their four-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon starting at 1:00pm at James P. Small Memorial Baseball Park.

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