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Despite rallying late, Cornerstone was unable to overcome a five-run deficit, as the Cougars of the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) defeated the Golden Eagles, 9-6, Saturday afternoon during the final day of the RussMatt Invitational in Florida.
Cornerstone falls to 3-10 on the season and will leave Florida with a 3-6 record during the past week.
The Cougars established themselves early with a 3-0 advantage in the game's opening inning. With no outs center fielder David Yoder found himself on third base and after a wild pitch by Cornerstone's pitcher, Luke Heller. Heller then struck out catcher Tyler Gregory for the first out; however after a ground out to second base by Kyle McKay, shortstop Adam Book scored for Saint Francis' second run of the game. The third run came off another wild pitch bringing in first baseman Jerrid Rydell.
The Golden Eagles got on the scoreboard in the third inning. Geren Albury led off the frame heading to first base off a walk, and later scored when Adam Brooks singled off a bunt and advanced to second on an error by the Cougar's shortstop. Albury recorded an unearned run. The University of Saint Francis extended their run count in the third inning as well. At the end of the third, the Cougars led by a score of 4-1.
Cornerstone would tie the game in the fourth inning with Mark Fila, ZachHarbison, and Albury all scoring runs for the Golden Eagles. The tie would not last long when the Cougars immediately answered back in the fourth, bringing in four more runs making the score 8-4 in favor of USF.
Neither team was able to bring in runs during the fifth but the Cougars extended their lead to five during the sixth inning. However, Cornerstone was poised for a comeback. In the eighth inning both Travis Gordon and Daniel Marlow scored but the Golden Eagles ended the inning after Zach Bohl struck out swinging.
In the ninth inning, University of Saint Francis reliever Jerrid Rydell delivered two walks and struck out one. Cornerstone left shortstop Nick Covello on third base, as Daniel Marlow was the final out for the Golden Eagles.
Cornerstone starter Luke Heller drops to 0-2 on the year. The right-hander gave up eight runs on seven hits during the first 3 1/3 innings of the contest and struck out two Cougars.
The Golden Eagles next travel Marion, Ind., for a double-header at Indiana Wesleyan University. The first game gets under way Thursday with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.