WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—Three-hit efforts by Dominic Anagnos and Dan Valerio combined with seven innings of two-hit baseball from Felix Dieguez on the mound gave Southeastern an 8-1 win over No. 13 Keiser on Saturday.
The win was the 40th of the season, giving the No. 3 Fire (40-2) the most wins in the NAIA, and the top win percentage.
In his first start since throwing a no-hitter on March 13th, Dieguez was exceptional, striking out five and walking two in seven shutout innings of work, using 98 pitches to record nine fly outs and six groundouts.
At the plate, the Fire started quickly, getting back-to-back singles from Manuel Mesa and Anagnos in the top of the first. Valerio had his first of three RBIs on the day with a single to center field to bring in Mesa, and Anagnos scored on a groundout by Ivan Nunez.
Nunez was responsible for the third run with an RBI single to center field, scoring Anagnos, who singled, and stole second. Vince Volpatti made it 4-0 with an RBI double, scoring Valerio.
Dieguez started the game by retiring the first eight hitters he saw, until a two-out single to left in the bottom of the third broke up the perfect game.
The Fire bats went quiet in their next 10 at bats following a single by Adam De La Cruz in the top of the fourth. It wasn’t until the seventh when Mesa reached on a two-out single to left center. He made the most of the opportunity by stealing second and third, and with a walk to Anagnos, the Fire had first and third with two down.
When Anagnos broke for second, Mesa came home and scored to give the Fire a five-run lead.
Valerio led off the eighth with a solo home run, and picked up an RBI single in the ninth to finish the day 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Anagnos was also 3-for-4 with three runs scored.
Mesa was 2-for-5 with two runs.
The Fire are back at home on Tuesday for a non-conference contest against Florida National at 3 p.m.