LAKELAND, Fla.—Six three-game conference series, six three-game sweeps.
Southeastern improved to 18-0 in Sun Conference play, and completed the sweep of Ave Maria with a 5-2 victory on Saturday at Ted A. Broer Stadium.
The win also extended the program record win streak to 23.
In the first inning, the Fire loaded the bases with one of three hits on the day by Dominic Anagnos, a hit by pitch to Marvin Malone, and infield single by Dan Valerio with one out. However, Anagnos was tagged out at home trying to score on a wild pitch, and a strikeout ended the threat.
Baserunners were difficult for the Fire (44-2) to generate against Ave Maria starting pitcher Justin Bureau, who fanned eight hitters in six innings of work.
In the second, Keiner Colmenarez walked, then got to second on a wild pitch. When the Chipola transfer tried to steal third, the throw went into left field, allowing him to come home and give the Fire a 1-0 lead.
The Fire added two runs off the bat of Marvin Malone, who’s third home run of the weekend was a two-run shot over the right field wall to put Southeastern up 3-0.
Ave Maria (14-28, 3-15 TSC) finally took advantage of one of four two-out walks issued by Fire starting pitcher Felix Dieguez, following up the base on balls in the fifth with a single, then scored on a wild pitch. The Gyrenes made it a one-run game in the sixth, squeezing in a run with second and third with one out. A hit by pitch loaded the bases, but Heibert Romero was able to get a ground ball double play to end the threat.
That shifted momentum to the third base dugout, helping the Fire plate two runs in the bottom of the sixth. On a first and third play, Ivan Nunez went to second, and Valerio came home on a delayed steal. A double by Vince Volpatti scored Nunez to put the Fire up 5-2.
Eddie Jimenez closed out the final two innings on the mound to earn his second save of the season. The only hit he allowed was on the first pitch he threw, but the hitter was erased on Valerio’s second assist from left field as Rico Soto tried for a double.
Dieguez remained unbeaten on the year, improving to 5-0, striking out eight in five innings of work.
Southeastern will host Webber International on Wednesday for a non-conference game at 6 p.m.