No. 3 Southeastern Stifles Titans at the Plate
LAKELAND, Fla. – On a day where junior left-handed pitcher Felix Dieguez etched his name into the record books, the No. 3 Southeastern University baseball team took both games of an afternoon doubleheader over the Indiana University South Bend Titans. The Fire shutout the Titans in game one 9-0 before edging out IUSB 6-4 in the second game.
Dieguez turned in a memorable performance on the mound. The Tampa native tossed a complete seven-inning game no-hitter, the first in program history since the Fire threw a combined no-hitter on 1/24/14 versus Calumet College of St. Joseph’s.
Dieguez only allowed three IUSB baserunners during the contest, two via base on balls and one hit by pitch. The Hillsborough Community College transfer struck out 11.
“We’re all extremely happy for Felix. His ability to attack the zone with a three pitch mix all came together for him today,” shared head coach Adrian Dinkel.
Eight of the nine SEU starters recorded base hits in game one. After the Fire got one across due to a IUSB error in the bottom of the first, they tacked on four more in the bottom of the third thanks to five hits and an error. RBI base hits by junior utility man Dan Valerio, sophomore outfielder Vince Volpatti, and junior infielder Adam De La Cruz highlighted the frame in which SEU went up 5-0.
Volpatti turned in an impressive day at the plate. The Chabot College transfer was .800 (4-5) at he plate between the two games with three runs batted in, two walks, two runs scored, and two stolen bases.
An RBI groundout by De La Cruz in the bottom of the fifth brought Volpatti across. The Fire tacked on two more runs with back to back RBI singles by junior outfielder Manuel Mesa and junior infielder Dominic Anagnos to go up 9-0.
A lineout into the glove of Dieguez with two outs in the top of the seventh sealed the victory and the no-hitter.
In game two, the Fire jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, due to back-to-back RBI doubles by junior infielder Ivan Nunez and Volpatti.
The Titans answered in the top of the third, driving in two runs on three hits to even things up 2-2.
Volpatti drove in Nunez with a single up the middle in the bottom of the fifth to put SEU ahead 3-2.
Junior lefty Kasey Gast was clutch in relief, tossing two and two thirds of hitless relief and striking out two. Gast earned the first win of his SEU career. An RBI single by Anagnos and double by Valerio added three insurance runs for Southeastern in the bottom of the sixth.
The Titans attempted a rally in the top of the seventh, adding two runs to their total to cut the deficit to 6-4. Junior right-handed pitcher Heibert Romero closed out the final two thirds to earn his fifth save of the season.
The Fire are back in action this weekend, as they are set to host the College of Saint Joseph Fighting Saints for a pair of doubleheaders starting on Friday. Game times are set for 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.