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VALRICO — On Friday, Durant actually allowed its opponent to score.
Despite having that mark against his name, Chaz Fowler managed to pull it together. The senior threw a complete game as the undefeated Cougars won 3-2 at Bloomingdale.
Durant had recorded shutouts in its first three games while hanging the lone losses on Plant and Riverview. Bloomingdale scratched runs off Fowler in the first two innings Friday but he went on to retire 19 of 20 batters.
“I was kind of upset, but the streak was eventually going to end,” Fowler said. “I felt nice and relaxed tonight and got through some quick innings.”
He gave up his only walk with two out in the seventh but then ended the game with his eighth strikeout.
The Cougars are off to a 2-0 start in ultra-competitive 8A-7. Durant jumped ahead 2-0 in the first on RBI singles from Luke Heyer and Paxton Sims, whose groundball took a nasty hop over freshman shortstop Austin James.
Bloomingdale (1-4) ended the Durant shutout streak when Justin Ambrosino drove a deep sacrifice fly to center, scoring Ryan Kelley, who led off with a single and stolen base.
Durant loaded the bases in the second, scoring when Cody Crouse uncorked a wild pitch. Crouse lasted five innings and struck out seven. Jamal Wilson struck out four in two innings of relief — and nearly tied the game leading off the bottom of the seventh. But Paxton Sims flagged down his long fly to right at the wall.
As good as Durant’s pitching has been, the offense has yet to produce more than three runs. Coach Butch Valdes tried to force the issue in the third with a hit and run — but Sims’ line drive went right to Kelley covering second for a double play.
“That could’ve broken it open,” Valdes said. “We’re trying to up the aggressiveness on offense. But it’s nice to have something to work on early in the season.”
Cougar catcher Tyler Long doubled and walked twice, the only two walks issued by the Bulls.